Amanda Dorough | The Beautiful Journey


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Currently

Well hello there, it’s been awhile.  Looking at the blog, the last time I wrote was in April, not because there hasn’t been anything to write about, but because writing takes energy and unfortunately that’s something I’m running a little short on these days.

To catch you up a bit, the school year ended at the end of April and instead of going back to Washington for the summer to visit family and friends I opted to stay in Alaska to work and save money.  While it was difficult to not go home, even for a visit, staying in Alaska really was the best decision.  I was able to work full time at the front desk and doing media work for the Residence Hall here at KPC and I was able to enjoy an Alaskan summer, which I must say really agrees with me.  It’s not to hot and not to cold and a whole bunch of beautiful.

The first week of May I finished my basic firefighter training with our local fire department and officially started pulling shifts as a volunteer in July.  While call volumes are usually light I feel like the experience I’ve gained these last couple months truly is invaluable, and it gets me even more excited for my future in EMS.

July held many adventures.  My parents came up for a visit and I spent the week showing them around the Kenai Peninsula.  They both loved it and I’m pretty sure my dad would have stayed if my mom would have let him.  I also splurged a bit and went whitewater rafting on 6 Mile Creek with friends.  It was frigid and exhilarating.  We tackled class III, IV and V rapids and only fell out once!

In July I also officially entered a new decade, 30.  It’s hard to believe my 20’s are behind me, and I’m sometimes sad to see the things I wanted but didn’t accomplish, but then I remember the incredible things I did do (graduate from college, move overseas, travel the world…) and I realize life isn’t so bad.  Now I can’t wait to see what my 30’s will hold.

Summer 2015

(Some pictures from summer.  Clockwise from left: Caines Head Hike, Seward; Fire Training;
Brown bear near Cooper Landing; In Seward with Mom & Dad; Misty day in Cooper Landing;
White water rafting; The View from Fort McGilvray on Caines Head; The 4 summer RA’s ready
to escape to Seward for Labor Day weekend; Fish & Chips with Mom and Dad in Homer;
We finished the Color Run!; Residence Hall hike to Juneau Falls)

 

That brings me to CURRENTLY…

Currently I am in my 5th week of the UAA Paramedic Program.  This week we are reviewing how to do IV’s and administer medications.  Tomorrow I leave bright and early for Anchorage to spend the day with our sister campus out of Mat-Su to do orientations for clinical sites in the city.  Then, come October, clinical season officially begins and the little sliver of life I have now officially disappears.

Currently I am also working 20 hours a week for the school (in IT again & also doing media work for the ResHall) as well as pulling RA duties at the Residence Hall + training and the occasional shift with the fire department.  I’ve never been so glued to my planner in my life, but without it I would be totally lost.  I am busy, very, very busy.  Busier than I’ve ever been in my life, but thankfully I’ve staked out a few days in October, between clinicals where I have nothing planned.  I call these my “vacation from life”days and I am protecting them like a mama bear protects her cubs.  I’m going to sleep in, maybe watch some Netflix, or gasp, read a book for fun!  I guess we’ll see.  They’re still a few weeks away haha.

But, as busy as life is I’m incredible thankful for everything I have.  Right now it is a lot of work but I know in the end it will be so worth it.  I can’t say when the next time I’ll update the blog is, it may be to say “Horray! I’ve finished the paramedic program!” or it could be a lot sooner.  I guess we’ll see, but in the mean time any prayers for strength and the endurance to make it through this semester and the year are greatly appreciated!
Signature
 
RAs

Our 2015/2016 RA Team
(P.S. Part of my job this summer was to design these shirts.  What do you think?)

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Purex Powershot + Dial Miracle Oil Reviews

I have two products I’m really excited to share with you today!  A few months ago I joined Purex Insiders and since then they have given me a couple of great products to test out.  Normally I would dedicate separate posts to each one, but things have been so busy lately, so today you’re getting a 2 for 1!

First up is…

the Purex Powershot

When I moved into the ResHall here at KPC last summer I switched over to the pods style detergent for laundry.  They were light, easy and best of all not messy.

One of my least favorite things about doing laundry is the messiness of measuring and pouring the detergent.  I always end up getting it on the floor or on my hands.  It’s an unnecessary nuisance.

Enter the Purex Powershot and it’s pretty genius if I do say so myself.  The bottle is actually so smart it measures the super concentrated solution itself, no measuring and no mess involved.  See, there is a self contained measuring unit in the neck of the bottle that perfectly measures each dose and stops any extra from coming out.  It’s the simplicity of pods without the price tag, something a poor college student like myself can definitely appreciate!  Since the solution is so concentrated the bottle is also fairly small, making it much easier to carry to the other side of the ResHall each time I have to do Laundry, a great added bonus!

The only downside I’ve discovered is that I haven’t been able to find it in any of the stores around Soldotna/Kenai.  I’m going into Anchorage in a couple weeks and hopefully I’ll be able to find it there!

Purex Powershot

next is…

Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty picky with my soaps and body wash.  It needs to clean well, not dry out my skin and most of all smell good.

I first heard of Marula when I was in Africa a few years ago as a plant used to flavor many beverages, and even more specifically to make a special type of beer.  So when I saw that this body wash was infused with Marula Oil I didn’t know quite what to expect.  I didn’t know Marula could even be used beyond drinks, so naturally I searched it.  That’s how I learned that the same people who have been making drinks from the marula plants have also made moisturizing lotions using the oil from the marula nut for generations.  Interesting.

So I went ahead and gave the body wash a try.  Remember how I said smell was one of the most important factors to me?  Well this body wash smells amazing.  There’s nothing else I can compare it to, it’s just a rich and exotic scent.  As for moisturizing, my skin had been terribly dry this winter, what I had been using just wasn’t working.  Now my skin is soft and moisturized.  I can’t say the effect it will have on everyone, but’s it’s definitely made a difference in my skin over the last couple weeks and I would definitely recommend it.

Dial Miracle Oil Bodywash

 

I received the above products for free for testing and review purposes from Purex and Dial.  All opinions are 100% my own.


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Catching Up

Hi all, how’s it going?  Long time no blog.  2015 thus far has been by far the busiest year of my life, it doesn’t look like things will slow down anytime soon and you know what?  I’m OK with that.

So let’s do a little catching up shall we?

Let me start with work, or what I refer to as my 3 jobs, yes you read that right 3 jobs and no that doesn’t include being a student.  As many of you know I was offered an RA (Resident Advisor) position in the KPC Residence Hall for the spring semester.  It is SO much work, more than I ever imagined but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  We have a total of 6 RA’s right now and we rotate duty days every week.  If my duty night falls on I week day I’m only on for 12 hours (8pm to 8am) but if it falls on a weekend that shift turns into 24 hours, and those 24 hours usually drag on.  Not being allowed to leave the ResHall during a shift can be both a blessing and a curse.  For some reason I always run out of something I need right at the moment I can’t go to the store, go figure.  But at the same time, not having the opportunity to run away, in theory should give me more time to get things done, although instead of doing homework I usually find myself on Netflix like your average 20 something… oops.

Aside from all the RA-ing I find myself doing, I also work at the helpdesk in my schools IT department (the same job I had last semester) aka job #2, as well as spending several hours a week doing media work for the ResHall (updating the website, taking pictures, making flyers, posting to facebook) aka job #3.  When you do the math all of this essentially equals up to a full-time job, which yes, after many years of being in the workforce and working full-time I am used to, but tack that on to being a full-time student and things start to get tricky.

Which brings me to that whole student thing.  I’m taking 13 credits this semester, nothing compared to the 18 credits I usually took a semester in college the first time around, but when you’re used to not having homework, like ever, it feels like a whole, whole lot.  My EMT 2 class officially starts tomorrow, meaning Monday-Friday I now have no downtime, but wait it gets even more complicated!  More one that in a minute but first let me make a quick caveat because…

I’m now not only a certified EMT in Alaska, I’m a Nationally Certified EMT (NREMT)!  Most of my classmates took the test back in December right after we finished EMT-I but, because I went back to WA for Christmas I had to delay my test a little bit.  I originally was going to take it in January right after I got back but I put it off and put it off and put it off.  You know how that goes.  I finally scheduled the test and took it in my schools learning center last Monday.  To be honest when I finished I was convinced I had failed.  It’s the type of test that can have more than one right answer and you have to choose which one is the best.  It was stinking hard to say the least but the next day I got my results back and I had passed!  That was a huge load off of my shoulders and I couldn’t be more excited.

Ok now back to why life is getting even more complicated.  When I first got back to school in January I saw signs posted around the ResHall that Central Emergency Services (CES) our local fire and rescue department was looking for volunteers.  I went back and forth on whether I wanted to apply for it because with everything else going on I didn’t know if I would be able to handle it too.  I decided to go to the informational meeting they held at the beginning of February just to check it out and I left that meeting wanting to be a volunteer more than anything.  I put in my application and last Thursday had my physical agility test and interview.  I found out Monday that I got a position and start fire training sometime next month!  If I wasn’t already busy enough right?  But gosh, to be able to start working now in a position I want to be my career will be amazing.  I can’t wait!

So there we are, all caught up.  This coming week is spring break, and while I wish I was going somewhere fun and exotic, I’ll instead be working full-time.  My friend Kirsten and I have a couple of day trips planned around the area, but with an arctic blast heading our way it’s looking like spring break will be chilly indeed!EMT

 Horray! I’m an EMT!

Met. Redoubt

A view of Mt. Redoubt from the school.  It was tough leaving Mt. Rainier behind but Redoubt is pretty stinking beautiful.  You would never guess there’s the whole Cook Inlet between us.

Extras

They’re going to be filming a big budget Hollywood movie in Whittier over the next couple months so we headed up to Anchorage a couple Sunday’s ago in the ResHall van to try our luck at becoming extras for the movie.  Fingers crossed!

Moulage

Kirsten and I got a chance to volunteer to be victims in the final drill for a recent CERT class last weekend.  The moulage person didn’t show up so we got to do our own.  Considering the tools we had were very limited I was pretty proud of what I did.  I even got a piece of “shrapnel” to stick out of my forehead.  So much fun!

RA board

Every month the RA’s have to make a new educational bulletin board in our quad.  This was my board for February.  I think it turned out fairly well 🙂


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It’s 2015, It’s Time to Shine

I’ve always loved new years.  The anticipation of what a sparkly new year can bring is exhilarating. It’s a time when people focus on what the coming year could bring and resolve to make the changes that they’ve been putting off in their life, but, lets be honest folks, how many of those resolutions stick?  Ya you may do great at going to the gym for a month but then the old excuses creep back in and somehow it’s not as important anymore.

Ok, yes, when I say lets be honest, if I’m really honest, I’m talking about myself.  I suck at resolutions, there you have it.  I suck at them, that’s why two years ago, as 2012 transitioned into 2013 I choose to stop making resolutions for the coming year and instead to choose a word I wanted to personify it, to saturate and define the coming 365 days.  Last year I chose the word JOY.  2013 had been rough for me and more than anything I wanted 2014 to be filled with pure happiness, special moments and joy filled memories and it was, it really was.

When it came time to pick a word for 2015 I had trouble and ended up sitting on it for a few weeks.  It’s not that I couldn’t find a word, it’s that there were so many in contention.  In the end I selected a word that I felt like all the others could branch out of, 2015 is the year where I want to SHINE.

Shine

Contrary to how the phrase may sound I have no desire to be in the spotlight. Instead I want to radiate light, to bring happiness and joy to those around me and to SHINE the light of Christ. The other side of the coin is that I hope to fill my life with light.  Things that edify, people that bring joy and moments of wonder.  I made the board above to reflect my heart and hopes (photos from Pinterest).  Pure light, sparkle and color make me so happy and I hope that the coming year is filled with it.

At the end of this I want to issue a challenge as well.  If you’re like me and suck at resolutions, it’s not to late!  Pick a word that you want to define your year and do your darndest to live it out!

So here we go 2015, it’s time to SHINE!

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
– Nelson Mandela

 


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Here’s to 2014, Looking Back At This Last Year

Oh what the difference a year can make.  2013 was not a good year and by the end I was feeling terribly discouraged.  As I looked ahead to 2014 I had hope, hope that good things would happen and determination to make them so.  Now, as I reflect upon this last year I can confidently say it was everything I wanted and so much more.  I would even go so far as to say it was one of the best years of my life.

That’s funny for me to say considering the year contained one of the worst months of my life.  You see, March was not good to me.  It started out with terrible cement burns on my legs that made just moving a horrible chore and ended with a highly publisized controversy in relation to the organization I worked for that caused immense heartbreak for me and my co-workers.  Thankfully, when you hit the bottom there is nowhere you can go but up and give each blessing, big or small, that much more significance, and let me say, the rest of 2014 was full of them.

2014

In May after months of prayer and research I made the decision to apply to go back to school to finally become a paramedic.  It was a scary move for me and one I didn’t fully trust for another 2 months, but it ended up being one of the best decisions of my life.

At the end of June I once again headed to Tijuana, Mexico with my church to build homes for those in need and once I got home I was in full planning mode for the transition from full time employee to full time student.  At the end of July I officially gave my two weeks notice at World Vision and leaving was definitely bittersweet.  While working in a call center is not my calling in life (I actually hate talking on the phone) I couldn’t have worked for a better organization and my co-workers made each day so special.

2014

Mid- August brought the big move.  I loaded up my new car (Praise the Lord!  One of those blessings I was talking about earlier) and began the journey north to Alaska.

I got the incredible chance to spend the first half of the trip on the Alaska ferry traveling from Bellingham, WA to Haines, AK.  I saw sights I never imagined I would lay eyes on.  The inside passage is so gorgeous (when it’s sunny) and met so many great people.  The remaining drive to Soldotna was long and lonely but provided perfect time to think and reflect. In case you were wondering, Yukon territory really is as empty as you would imagine, go figure, but as soon as I pulled into the school after 3 days driving I knew I was home.

2014

This last semester I was given best friends, got to go on incredible adventures and laughed more than I had in 28 years.  I couldn’t feel more blessed.

2014

Now, as the year wraps up and I’ve officially got the first step in my pursuance of becoming a paramedic finished (EMT 1, hooray!) I eagerly look forward to what this next year will bring, and I remember that no matter what happens that God is good!

Happy New Year Everyone!  Here’s to 2015!


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One Semester Down, 4 To Go

Freedom feels so, so good.  I feel like the fall semester literally flew by.  I mean, wasn’t I just sailing away from Washington on the Alaska Ferry like last week not 4 months ago?  Goodness.

My life in Alaska really has been a blessing and only more of a confirmation with each day that it’s where I’m supposed to be.  As of a week ago I’m officially an EMT 1, hooray!  I still have to take my National EMT exam in January but according to the state of Alaska I am now official, hooray!  Next up?  EMT 2 then the plan is for Paramedic school in the fall, it won’t be a cake walk, but I couldn’t be more excited.

EMT Class

My EMT 1 Class along with our teacher, Tiffani, after our practical exam on the 13th.

So what else is new? Well, some of you may have seen on Facebook but I was offered an RA (Resident Assistant/Resident Advisor depending on the school you go to) for the spring.  I had my interview the Monday after Thanksgiving and hardly ate for the next few days as I waited to find out the results.  I knew that a few other girls had applied for the position and wasn’t sure where I stood, but in the end it worked out for me.  It’s definitely a position with a lot responsibility but it should be so good.  As an added bonus I get free housing in return which is definitely going to take off some of my financial burden.

Speaking of financial aid I found out the other day I received a scholarship from the school that covers 12 credits!  Another huge blessing for sure.  However it looks like the credits I transferred in from my bachelors are causing some trouble/confusion and making me technically ineligible for financial aid since I’m now going for an associate degree and have more than 150% of the credits needed (not the specific classes just the credits in general).  I can’t talk to anyone at the school about it until after new years so it’s definitely a weight.  I’m considering double majoring and entering a bachelors program if that will make things easier.  This is a definite prayer request for me.  My entire life is in Alaska right now and if I don’t have financial aid then I can’t afford to go to school and if I don’t go to school I will lose my housing and my job on top of the academic issues it will cause.  In other words I REALLY need this to get sorted out!  I know that God has paved the way and provided everything thus far so I have no reason to think it won’t work out, but until I have some certainty I can’t help but worry a little, you know?

In other news, as for life right now, I’m currently enjoying my Christmas break in Washington, spending time at my parents house, catching up on Redbox movies (we don’t have Redbox in Soldotna although we ironically have Blockbuster) and enjoying time with my 3 month old nephew Ezekiel.  Gosh they grow so fast!  I’m so thankful to have this month where I can just rest, relax and enjoy the “temperate” weather.  I mean, I can leave the house only wearing a sweatshirt!  I haven’t been able to do that in months!  I’m also enjoying all the shopping options we have here compared to Soldotna although I could leave all the traffic.  Definitely not something I missed!

Well, I guess that’s it for now, except to wish you all a

Merry Christmas!


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Review of Secret Outlast Completely Clean Clear Gel

I’m currently finishing up packing for my flight back to Seattle tonight.  The semester flew by!  But more on that later.  Right now I want to talk deodorant.  Yes, you read that right, deodorant.

A couple months ago I was given a stick of Secret Outlast Completely Clean Clear Gel to try out from BzzAgent.  My goal for years has been to find a deodorant that works for everything, whether I’m playing in the snow in Alaska or exploring ancient temples in Cambodia.  While I was living in Thailand I used clinical strength deodorants, not because I have a lot of sweat issues, but it’s southeast Asia and ridiculously humid so sweat just happens.  When I moved back to the US I just kept using it because I knew it could be effective anywhere, but the unfortunate thing is clinical strength deodorants are expensive.

So, when BzzAgent said they were sending me the Secret Outlast Completely Clean Clear Gel I got really excited.  To be honest I’d never used a clear gel before so this was completely new to me and you know what?  I really liked it.  It was a strange feeling at first, but it dried quickly and hallelujah there were no dreaded white marks when I put on my shirt.  That fact makes it a winner in my book!

When it came to the smell it was fresh and not overpowering, which is a plus and the price tag is much nicer than clinical strength deodorants!

The only negatives.  1.  It runs out much quicker than a typical solid, 2.  Even though it doesn’t give me white marks on my clothes it does leave a residue on the stick that drys kind of white.  Not the end of the world, but weird, 3.  The stick claims that it gives you 48hrs of protection.  I tried and don’t think thats necessarily true, I would still recommend putting it on everyday.

So in the end would I buy it?  Absolutely.  I really, really liked it and the pros definitely outweigh any cons.

*I received the above product for free for testing purposes from BzzAgent, the opinion is 100% my own.


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Influenster #ModaVoxBox Review

Hey y’all!  Happy December!  Today I’m back again with another Influenster Voxbox review.  I definitely feel really lucky.  This was the third box I’ve recieved since signing up with Influenster in June and it’s probably been my favorite yet!  For those of you not very familiar with Influenster or what it is you can read more about that on my last VoxBox post here.

So lets get on to the good stuff!

This particular Voxbox was called the Moda Voxbox and described as being for the fashionista.

Moda Voxbox

And here’s what was inside…

Moda Voxbox

The only thing you can’t see in the picture is the Rimmel lipstick and that’s because I accidentally hid it behind the mascara (oops!) but it’s there, trust me.

Like I’ve said in the past I like to make sure I really use the products before I say anything about them and this case was no different, so here are my thoughts.

Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask ($14.99, Target):  This is apparently a brand new product line so I was super excited to give it a try.  The description says it moisturizes and softens and helps provide “rich moisture protection from everyday styling for smooth, manageable hair while adding smoothness, softness and radiant shine.”  I liked this product.  I thought it smelled awesome and worked well.  That being said I don’t think it was necessarily better than other products I’ve used, however I’ve been spoiled by using salon quality products since my sister is a hairstylist.  But if I’m making that comparison, honestly, I think this product offers salon quality performance for a cheaper price tag.  I definitely recommend it. #HairFood

Moda Voxbox

 Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa ($2.29):  This is a new line from Swiss Miss that offers classic hot chocolate by only using 5 simple ingredients- Sugar, Cocoa, Nonfat Milk, Salt and Natural Flavor… whatever that means, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  Hot chocolate has always been my hot beverage of choice (I hate coffee), and I loved this.  It was the same great hot chocolate taste but I felt better drinking it without all of the additives.  I definitely recommend it. #SwissMissSimplyCocoa #Contest

Moda Voxbox

Jergens Ulta Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer: ($5.99/$6.99):  The claim of this moisturizer  is that you’ll have “visibly luminous, healthier looking skin in just one week.”  I don’t use lotion a whole lot because my skin isn’t very dry.  I did for testing purposes try out this moisturizer and can say that it did leave my skin feeling softer and healthier, but since I don’t really have issues in this area to begin with I can’t say I’m a huge authority on it.  From what I experienced myself I would recommend it, and a bonus is that it smells good! #1WeekToGorgeous

Moda Voxbox

Resource Spring Water ($1.49):  The description says Resource is 100% natural spring water and features naturally occurring electrolytes.  The bottle is also made from 50% recycled material.  To be honest I find water hard to review because it’s well, water.  I have had bottled waters in the past that had an absolutely terrible taste, but Resource isn’t one of them.  It tastes clean and fresh, a definite plus.  I also like the design of the bottle, it’s eye catching and a good size. #RefreshWithResource

Moda Voxbox

Puffs Softpack (1 pack for $1.99-$2.49, 3 pack for $4.99-5.99):  I’m sure you know that not all tissues are created equal, especially if you find yourself stuck with a cheap pack of tissue and an awful head cold.  I for one don’t like when the skin under my nose is rubbed raw, thankfully Puffs is one of the good brands out there.  Recently they released new Soft Packs.  They’re essentially the same size as a traditional box of  tissues but with a soft flexible casing more like a travel pack.  While traditional cardboard boxes are great if they’re sitting in your bathroom, if you need something more mobile the soft pack is awesome.  You can shove them in pockets in your car, carry them around with you etc. and the plastic exterior holds up so well.  A bonus is the packaging is super cute!  I definitely recommend. #PassThePuffs

Moda Voxbox

Then the last 3 products were all by Rimmel London, Scandalizes Rockin’ Curves Mascara ($5.49-$5.99), Moisture Renew Lipstick ( $6.99-$7.49) and Moisture Renew Lip Liner ($5.99-$6.49):  I’ve used Rimmel products in the past and like them in general.  When it came to the mascara I liked some things and didn’t like others.  First I always buy waterproof mascara and the one I received in this case wasn’t, not the end of the world, but a strike against it.  I liked that it had an interesting “broken heart-shaped” brush that helped me get more places on my lashes, but I felt like overall the look was clumpier than I like.  I’m not sure if I’d get it again.  Then when it came to the lip items, the lip liner was great.  It’s clear so you don’t have to worry about matching it to your lipstick and it worked well.  The lipstick itself was also very good, smooth, rich, and long lasting, the only con for me was the specific color I was given.  It ended up being  a bright raspberry shade called “As You Want Victoria,”  not bad on it’s own, just a color I would never choose for myself unless it was a costume. #RockinIt #Rimmel #MoistureRenew

Moda Voxbox

 

So there you have it, the Moda VoxBox.  Like I said this was probably my favorite box yet.  Did you see anything you liked?

*I received the above products for free for testing purposes from Influenster.  The opinions are 100% my own.


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Thankfulness

Today marks the 9th Thanksgiving I’ve spent away from my family and while it’s bitter-sweet in ways I couldn’t be more blessed.  It’s truly been an example of God’s provision to me.  I had several friends invite me over to their homes for Thanksgiving and in the end will get to spend the day with one of my best friends families as well as my surrogate family here at the res hall.  There will be Turkey and potatoes and tons of desert.  It will be amazing and I am so, so thankful for it.

In truth, I have a lot to be thankful for this year.  God has given me so much.  New opportunities, the chance to live in Alaska, the ability to go back to school, to follow my dream.  Good friends, a great car, a safe and beautiful road trip to Alaska, good grades, a great job with awesome co-workers, snow, a new nephew, just to name a few.

2014 has been a year full of changes and a year full of blessings and today…

I am thankful.

How about you?  What are you thankful for today?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thanksgiving


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Yum, Yum, Yum! Reviewing Tazo Chai Tea

Last week I posted a review of a Chapstick product I received to test out from a company called Smiley360.  Well around the same time I was also offered the chance to test another product, Tazo Chai Tea and I couldn’t have been more excited.

First of all I must start out my saying I’m weird.  I know we’ve already established this on many occasions but I needed to reaffirm the fact just in case.  I am one of the few Seattelites that don’t like coffee, and I also don’t like tea, with one exception, Chai.  Maybe it’s my years spent traveling or those weeks spent in India and Nepal that changed my taste buds, but Chai is delicious, although unfortunately, like most things not all Chai is created equal.

Before October I’d never had Tazo Chai Tea or Chai Tea Latte so I was a totally new palette in terms of the brand.  In the package from Smiley 360 I received one loose packet each of Tazo Chai Tea in Classic, Chocolate and Vanilla Caramel, as well as 3 coupons for free boxes of Tazo Chai Tea or Tazo Chai Tea Latte to test and share with friends.

Tazo Chai Tea

The first thing I did of course was hop on their website to scope out flavors and was excited to find there was a Pumpkin Spice Chai version (seasonal).  Yay for fall flavors!  So I headed to my local store to pick some up only to find that no stores in my area carry that flavor.  Bummer!  So I picked up a Chai Vanilla Caramel Latte instead and called it good.

It was only a couple days later that I got my first chance to try it out.  I’d spent the afternoon on a roadtrip to Girdwood with friends to play in the snow (because even though I live in Alaska we don’t have snow sticking around in my town yet, bummer).  When we got back we were cold and ready to snuggle up, thaw out and watch a movie.  My friend and fellow tea lover Kirsten and I heated up my Chai Vanilla Caramel Latte and joined the rest of my friends for the show, and oh my gosh it was so good!  Creamy, flavorful and sweet but not to sweet.  Kirsten loved it and I loved it.  I would definitely recommend!

Tazo Chai Tea

As for the other flavors?  Well they’re good too!  Tazo is definitely a brand I will be buying in the future and I would recommend to all chai tea lovers out there.

Go Tazo!

*I recieved the mentioned products for free for testing purposes from Smiley360.  The opinions are 100% my own.