Valentine’s Day Road TRIP! (I’m going to have fun with this post)

As you’ve probably read in the previous post, the week of Valentine’s Day was amazingly busy!

I felt on top of the world even though I was incredibly exhausted pretty much the whole week leading up to Friday.  Friday morning was busy but not hyper vigilant.  I was able to take things at a bit slower of a pace and ease my way through the day.  I started off the morning by writing a list of things that needed to be done before we left Saturday morning.  These fun lists have become my safeguard from forgetfulness and even before I was pregnant it was nice to have a checklist plus it was a visual sense of accomplishment!

Road Trip 1

I left a blank space just incase we thought of something else to add.. there’s always something to add.  (Oh and if you’re wondering who Rio is at the top for the H20 count that’s one of my husband’s nicknames.  Rio is Jem’s boyfriend in the 80’s cartoon Jem and the Hologram’s)

You’ll see this reference at least a dozen times as it’s one of my favorite cartoons from my childhood.  I will probably also reveal to you a little background story of how my middle name became Jem and why my daughter’s middle name is set to be Jerrica. 😉

Both Scott and I love coming home to a clean and duty-free house which is why I put all loads of laundry at the top.  The hiking gear would need to be winter gear and much packing needed to be done, but we had the whole day ahead of us to prepare!

Day 1 – Begin ❤ Road Trip –

By Saturday morning everything was completed and I was even able to throw in some treats for us that I found at PCC.  It’s seriously hard to find tasty organic treats, so I for some I got as close to it as I could!

Road Trip SnacksAll products were GMO free, gluten-free, non-processed, and most were organic.  There are a handful of snacks: Go Raw Fax snacks (pizza) aka bird seeds, Royal Hawaiian BBQ macadamia nuts, Dal Mix peas and chickpeas.  The rest was nut butters, home-made cashew snacks (without coconut sugar), supplements, vitamins, and coconut vinegar nutritional yeast, Himalayan salt.

Road Trip TeaWe packed gallons of water and glass water bottles.  Saturday morning Scott made tea so we also had glass cups, which are much easier to drink out of when driving vs. these glass water bottles(unless you plan on drinking out of the straw version).  This time he made the Tazo organic vanilla rooibos parfait coupled with Teecino Caramel Nut herbal Coffee <3.  OMG!  It’s to die for and tastes like a light caramel macchiato…seriously, for not being real coffee it sure has both of us fooled.  Of course, we haven’t had coffee for at least 6 months++ and counting!!
The teeccino was the biggest way we were able to quit coffee and yes while there are some healthy ‘antioxidant’ benefits to coffee as well as plenty of ‘unhealthy’ emotional benefits it’s unfortunately too acidic to the body and the body is already overly acidic = health problems.  So, we enjoy this instead!  Do we miss coffee?  Occasionally we do as we used to have a double shot espresso every morning.  I wasn’t sure Scott would be able to quit but he hasn’t looked back!  This shouldn’t surprise me as he’s amazingly supportive and understanding to making healthy decisions. (I mean really supportive I am so grateful!)  One of the mega reasons I love him so much!  Do we feel like we don’t have as much energy?  No!  In fact we have MORE energy, the weirdest thing is you actually believe that you get more energy from coffee but in fact it’s just that boost and then it’s such a big drop that you need another boost.  Not only does this create the addiction but it wreaks havoc on your nervous system.  We weren’t designed to take overstimulation this way and energy drinks are even more horrible.  I’m so happy that I’m no longer drinking energy drinks, shots, or coffee.  Though I do enjoy the smell when I’m around a coffee place or the coffee aisle at the grocery store… mmmmm… coffee … *sniff* I remember you.

There are a mainly 2 ways to get to eastern Washington, HWY 2 and HWY 90.  We do not particularly care for the pass that’s on HWY 2, although the drive through Leavenworth is beautiful.  We do this drive at least a couple of times a year so we ended up taking HWY 90 which gives us a change of scenery and we don’t have to drive Steven’s Pass.  HWY 90 also features one of my favorite lakes to drive by, Keechelus Lake.. absolutely beautiful, here’s what it looked like around 8:30 a.m.

Road Trip Keechelus Lake

Can you believe I took this shot while DRIVING?  Sometimes I’m just amazed at camera’s.  It took the picture just right and captured the morning.  Beautiful isn’t it??

Another hour along the road and there’s another one of my favorite views, the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility.  Which is just this amazing view of rolling hills with 149 wind turbines (modern day windmills).  It’s amazingly beautiful to see.  Another picture for you:

Road Trip Ellensburg Windmills

Again, the picture taken while driving.  Though if you look up the name of the place you’ll see tons more pictures that were taken at some really beautiful spots and times of the day.  This is just passing by.  🙂

A half hour later and we were both starting to feel hungry, time for our morning Valentine’s Day Snack. The Cashew recipe, made these up for the road, SO thankful I did they are absolutely delicious!  Even without the coconut sugar they were incredible instead of that sugar I added pinch more salt to make them a saltier treat.

Mmm so good!

Road Trip CashewsRoad Trip Valentine's Day

Road Trip Love Bracelets

The braclet’s that we are wearing the Jeep 😉 bought for us for Christmas.  The bracelet’s are made of leather and say ‘Love’ in 34 different languages.  We’ve been wearing ‘love’ bracelets since we went on our first road trip together.  It’s really a cute tradition that we’ve been keeping going.  We usually wear them until they get worn out or break.  These have lasted really well so far compared to the other’s I’ve purchased over the past few years, though it’s only been two months.  We wear them every day (most of the time unless we forget to put them back on after the shower) and do our best to take them off before bed.  They still look great after two months and the quality of them is outstanding!  If you want to take a look, the sellers are awesome found them on Etsy-sellers are True Heart Style.  Yes, I definitely will buy from them again!

Now.. although we have packed adequately for the trip, there is one thing that we love to do on road trips and it’s to hit up different natural markets that we don’t have in Western Washington.  We know that for sure there is at least ONE place before leaving Eastern Washington that we’ve been to before called Huckleberry’s Natural Market in Spokane, Wa.  Really cute place and is like a PCC or if you aren’t familiar with PCC, a smaller but eclectic version of Whole Foods.

So far, every morning I’ve been making a juice to boost the nutrients and vitamins for the baby (and whatever she leaves me) and this morning, I unfortunately did not have time to make a juice.  It would have added another 30+ minutes and when you’re trying to get out the door.. well let’s just say we left at 7:20a.m. and were intending to leave closer to 5:30a.m.  So, basically juicing wasn’t in the plan for the weekend anyway…but neither was stopping at this Natural Market.  I mean that’s what I stocked up for right?  Which would mean no tempting cute little gluten-free, dairy-free locally made brownies..

FAIL.  My husband’s really good at these types of scenarios he just says the magical words “Are you suuuure you got everything” of course looking innocent while I know he’s got a hankering for some popcorn. 😉  The little devil on my shoulder he is.. and of course he knows I’m thinking about the possibility of brownies made with walnuts and coconut flour and all things that align with healthier alternative foods…  Yes, my curiosity got the best of me.  So off we head to this auspicious market, full of good fortune indeed!

Why.. even the parking lot was welcoming us!!

Road TRip StoRK

And it only got better!  Today, February 14th.. was Huckleberry’s Natural Market Grand Opening JUICE BAR!!!!!!  Wahoo my lucky stars are out with me today! 🙂

Hopefully it’s organic!  Eeeeeee… I asked, YES!  It IS ORGANIC!  *happy dance*

Scott chuckled as he did his own dance towards the crackers and chips aisle.
We found a few things, spent about $30 on random little snacks and were back on our way!

Of course, I was like super duper happy!


I got the juice called “The Mermaid”, which is another nickname of mine… though I ‘mostly’ got it because it had lots of delicious stuff in it and I got Scott a juice that I added to and named “the Hulk” because that is definitely his nickname.. he’s stronger than he realizes half the time. 😉

Road Trip Spokane Drinks

He graciously gulped down his drink, partly because I held the treats hostage until he did… hehe part of the perk of being the Co-Pilot/Health regulator. hehe  Oh come on, he totally gets spoiled! 🙂

When got into Idaho we needed to fill up for gas, I’m mentioning this because gas prices in Washington were as low as $2.30 but slowly going up around this time.  We get into Idaho a little before Boise and stopped at a Maverick.  I actually took a picture of this because I couldn’t believe my own eyes, I haven’t seen prices like this for a LOOOOONG time!

Road Trip 1.87 gas price

$1.87??  What?  That means we fill up for HALF the price as normal???  Okay!!

Road Trip fill up for under $35

 Just nice to have gas at a decent price for once. 🙂

After driving a while more we decided that we should start celebrating Valentine’s day and open one gift each!

Scott started by opening his Valentine’s Day Card—-yes that counts as a gift/teaser. 😉

Road Trip love card

Road Trip Love Card opened

Road Trip Love card Roberts team forever Back

He loved the card!  Then he got excited to give me my gift.. AND I was soo ready!   (Psssp.. that’s SNOW behind me.  In Washington we didn’t really get any this year, I know… East coast is suffering right now with snow storms and we’re out looking for snow.

Road Trip Love MY GIFT

Opened up this big package to find…

CINNAMON!  aka.  Mr. Hammy

Road Trip Love gift cute little hampster

My husband is silly and I do love his cute little gifts!  Mr. Hammy also looks so cute next to the card on the dashboard. 🙂  Happy LOVE day indeed!

Road Trip Love Black and white valentine's gifts

Finally we got into Montana!  It was a beautiful drive from Eastern Washington (Spokane) into Montana.  A great drive and Montana welcomed us with this beautiful view:

Road Trip Montana

Once we arrived at our destination: The Red Lion in Kalispell, MT we unpacked our Jeep and started to enjoy relax into our Valentine’s Day Getaway.  Lots of people were skiing and snowshoeing so surprisingly a lot of hotels were booked up!  Luckily I got on Expedia and booked my hotel 5 minutes before getting there. 😉

Time to open up more gifts!! Woohoo hehehe

Road Trip GIFTSRoad Trip GIFTS cute frog

Road Trip GIFTS pictures

The last picture is a photograph of two canvas prints that were made of our trip to Crater lake. (a side-road trip)  We ended up getting there just as the sun was setting and the lake was crystal clear.  Evidently that’s not a common event there because boats pass through and the water isn’t still.  The picture on the right we both love, really captures the moment. 😉

Day 2 -Glacier National Park-

For this next day, I think I’ll do less talking and show you pictures because I really can’t explain how beauitiful it was.

The morning was glorious and we not only found our snow, but we found our SUNSHINE!  😀

Road Trip  SUN

I literally took the picture, just so I could remember the sun.  No, we don’t get that very often in Washington in the winter.  We both love sun and cold at the same time, it’s like the best of both worlds.

Welcome to…

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Glacier National Park

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Road to the Sun

We drove the “Going-to-the-Sun Rd.” and wound up here…

Road Trip Day 2 Montana

Evidently this makes for a great, cross-country ski-snowshoeing, hiking area…

Okay I’m all for that!  We hiked a good while, until we got to a bridge at a cross roads.  We could either hike up this steeper incline, or.. hike over the bridge..

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Snow

I was already getting tired and was ready for our little picnic that I packed–so hungry!

The bridge scene, I tried for a fun baby pose… but even the camera was more interested in the scenery!  I don’t blame the camera…it WAS gorgeous!!

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Baby Pose

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Water - Copy

The sun was really starting to shine down on that little patch of snow in the middle of the lake and being that it wasn’t THAT far out there, I was convinced we should hike to the middle for our little meal time. 🙂

SO glad we did too… it was just perfect!

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Not a joke absolutely beautiful

Road Trip Day 2 Montana The way fishing should be - Copy


Road Trip Day 2 Montana Really wow

Road Trip Day 2 Montana A tree bobbin

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Breath taking views

This is our first attempt to try and take a picture together.. obviously it was really bright (and we weren’t going to complain)

Road Trip Day 2 Montana IT is Bright!

After a few bites to eat, we were starting to feel much better and well a little goofy…

Road Trip Day 2 Montana you'd think that lense flare was on purpose - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana getting ready for the thug picture

Road Trip Day 2 Montana GOOFY

Overall the hike was very fun and relaxing.  I always love a good hike because my whole body feels like it comes to life and we get to bond in mother nature.  Surprisingly there were a lot of people hiking and cross-country skiing.  Even this grumpy grandma person who didn’t like people walking on any of the 5 ski trails made–um sorry granny, we gotta walk somewhere too!!  This pregnant lady doesn’t like falling into snow every 10 seconds.  Sheesh!

😉 (That was for Scott)

More pictures from the rest of our trip back town before we went out again to drive the East side of the Glacier National Park.

Road Trip Day 2 Montana TOP of mountain - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana scenic

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Scenic 2

Before we headed to the East side of the park, we went back into town for some protein.  Never having eaten Elk before we decided to stop at this little diner and ordered plain Elk burgers with a side of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.  They were really accommodating to our particular requests and handed us the food feeling almost guilty that there was practically nothing on the plate.  Haha!  But we devoured the food and enjoyed every bit of it as we burned through our lunch rather quickly after the hike.

Seeing all the signs for huckleberries in that town, huckleberry pie, huckleberry smoothies, everything! I was starting to get a craving for huckleberry something that would just NOT go away.  Seriously this pregnant lady was starting to go crazy!!! So, Scott and I stopped at a Huckleberry natural market (coincidence?) and I grabbed the closest thing I could find to what I believed would taste like huckleberry pie! haha

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Craving Huckleberries snack food

AND THANK GOD too!!  It’s not quite the same, but damn was it close enough!!!  AND SOO delicious, yes it hit the spot.. do I need to make a version of these myself? Absolutely!

Now we were ready for the second half of the day…

Entering East Glacier National Park.  What once must have been a nice resort town..

Road Trip Day 2 Montana East Glacier Park Boarded up

But as you can see from the pictures, this beautiful place was boarded up!

However, we still wanted to see what it was like and drove the rest of the evening just looking at the scenery. Definitely not as beautiful as the West side.. however, the sunset was just amazing!!

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Indian Territory second part of day

It’s a Jeep thing..gotta do some snow pics..

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Gotta do a little off roading

We took this picture JUST before the dark cloud rolled through…

Road Trip Day 2 Montana starting to get dark - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Sun Setting

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Trains - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Sunset 2 - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Sunsetting 3 - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana Sunsettig 4 pink - Copy

Road Trip Day 2 Montana sunsetting 5 wow - Copy

Although we took all these pictures (and many more) it still doesn’t capture the moment or the beauty like it was felt.  It was literally awe-inspiring!  The colors kept changing and lighting up the sky all sorts of beautiful colors.

We ended the night back at our hotel room, chowing down on a delicious salad that composed a lot of odds and ends from what we packed (and bought at the store.. like pickles..nom)

Road Trip Day 2 Montana DINNER

A good way to end a perfect day! ❤

Day 3 – Heading home –

Driving home was more bitter-sweet.  We stopped at this cute little shop that had baby toys (and older) including some eco safe toys.  We found a sweet flower mobile, a beautiful natural organic fairy doll, and a couple teething toys.  So glad we were able to stop in because every time we drove by the shop, it was closed (due to bad timing).  But the day we were leaving, it was open! Hooray!  🙂  If you ever get a chance to stop into Kalispell, MT you must check out this little toy shop called: Imagination Station.  I think I talked about it in a previous post, but it really is a unique little shop.  They have great customer service, a great selection, and great prices!  🙂

A couple of pictures from our drive home– again it’s sunny!  This time though, when we got back to Washington state… it wasn’t raining!! 🙂

Road Trip Day 3 heading home

Another train picture 🙂

Road Trip Day 3 TRAIN

End of the trip!

Thanks for reading and sorry it’s almost a month late!  I thought I’d make it up to you and give you extra info and lots of pictures!!  You forgive me right?

Thanks to all my readers for encouraging me to remember to write blog posts as promised.  I’m very happy to have people who follow my life and look forward to the blogs I post.

I will be posting more about the nursery soon and also some recipes, so please stay tuned!



Pavlov’s Dog…gone wrong??

Before Christmas last year I wanted to teach our dog, Kyoto, how to open presents.  Kyoto is an Akita and they are VERY smart.  My goal was to teach him how to rip open the cardboard box and inside I would have enticing treats.  He already showed that he really liked cardboard boxes to begin with.  Usually he would take the cardboard pieces, usually long and flat, and possess them, so he could…possess them. “Mine”, “No wait, that’s mine!” During the past summer he had a favorite cardboard piece and whenever we tried to recycle it he would lay on it and start playing with it.  We’d make sure he wasn’t ‘too-possessive’ over it and pick it up and move it to make sure he’d always be okay with things not being ‘his’ per-say.

His whole interest in them made me wonder if I could not only teach him how to tear open a box, but he could also break down boxes with us.  That way he could feel like he was proudly doing a job too and help us instead of stare at us.  So, he started to really get into it.  When it was recycling day, he’d come over and just start helping us tear the boxes apart.  Any large boxes, he’d attack without resistance.  He loved when it was garage day and a lot of boxes were thrown in the middle of the garage! You can probably tell where this is going by now… if so, continue to play along. For Christmas, he was a champ!  He definitely knew what to do when the box was in front of him ready for tearing open.  Especially when we’d say “Get that box!”


Yes, he learned very well and perhaps a little too well… When we finally took down the tree and put it in the box, we found out that we were out of box tape.  Scott moved the box to the garage and when we next made it to home depot we’d pick up some tape.  Which we did purchase this week…unfortunately, we weren’t fast enough.

This morning it was pouring down rain and usually when it’s raining this hard, we’ll leave the garage door open so Kyoto will have a nice dry place to go. (though, we rarely see him inside as he seems to love the rain and cold-he is a snow dog after all.)  So that’s what Dad did.. he left the door open for the dog and we continued on with our morning rituals.  At some point, while I was making breakfast, Scott went outside and noticed that our dog-son had been busy working on that tree box…

He came back inside and said “Hon, it’s raining outside so I opened the garage door for Kyoto…well, I think you need to see the garage…”
In my mind, I already knew what that dog did.  I said “He got the tree box, didn’t he?”
A few chuckles slipped from his mouth and he said “Really good.  Pieces are everywhere… we shouldn’t get upset though, you know, we kinda trained him to do that.”
I smiled in agreement,  “yeah, sure.. and the tree wasn’t messed up?”
“No, but you gotta see the box, he really got it good!”
I laughed, “What did you say to Kyoto when you saw it.”
His voice quieted a bit with this next sentence, “I said, Good Boy Kyoto!”

Seriously, pieces were absolutely everywhere!

I’d like you to take notice that there’s a perfectly good shoe in the path of this destruction and many other things he could have chewed, but only kept to boxes…

Tree Box Demolished

I couldn’t help but laugh!  It’s true… the dog was doing his job at least someone was!  It was obviously we weren’t!!

He must have been on serious patrol because he even found one by the squat bar on the other side of the Jeep.  LOL!


Well, like the subject of this blog post says “Pavlov’s dog…gone wrong??”

To this I’d answer:  Dog 1: Humans 0.

Does this post have anything to do with Healthy eating or a healthy lifestyle?

Yes and No.  While it doesn’t directly connect to healthy eating, it does have a little bit to do with a healthy lifestyle.  It’s really important to understand the psychological aspect to how we treat the beings around us, especially one’s that are learning from us.  When we think about how we respond to our pets or our children, it’s especially important to remember they respond TO us and we teach them everything.  In a realistic reflection, how we treat others is really how we treat ourselves.  Consciously or sub-consciously, directly or indirectly we are connected to their learning behavior as well as our own.

For example, some people might believe that this dog was misbehaving. In reality he was really following a silent order.  Boxes are meant to be destroyed, see a box, demolish it.

It’s also important to not get angry or frustrated in a situation like this, no matter how challenging it may be.  The best thing you can do is a self-reflecting exercise and the next time you get into a challenging situation (where you may feel even a hint of frustration) stop and ask yourself this question, “what can I learn/gain from this situation?”

For us, there were a few answers to that question.

  1. Don’t leave the garage door open unless we want our little worker bee to get to get a job or two done.
  2. Pay attention to what is left out carelessly.
  3. Take care of tasks as soon as possible.
  4. Confusing the dog by punishing him for a task we’ve assigned him to, will only cause damage to his psyche.
  5. If it angers me or frustrates me, what is causing those feelings within myself?  (Usually it will come down to self-worth.)  If you are feeling those feelings, most likely at some point in your life you learned that frustration was a way of handling a stressful or challenging situation.  It is very challenging to confront those feelings and think about them rationally before reacting to a situation.  However, the more you work on your reactions the easier and more naturally it becomes for you to unlearn those same behaviorisms.  That way when something happens that is a result of life you’ll be able to learn from the situation and keep your emotional state in tact.  You’ll also feel more peaceful and may even laugh at the situation.  The goal is to always be able to laugh at it because ‘shit’ will happen.
  6. Last but not least…Take it with a grain of salt.  It is after all, just a box.  Besides…the hubster wanted a tree bag anyway. It’s actually a WIN/WIN sort of situation if you think about it. 🙂
    (Dog feels proud of a task done well/ we don’t have to tape up the annoying tree box after all.)

Want to learn more about what Pavlov’s Dog means?  Read this interesting article and if you got a few minutes watch the youtube clip.  It’s an interesting educational video-for those who find classic conditioning of value.

Thanks for reading my blog!