First of all, #NotPregnant because that is literally the first thing anyone asks me. So no, not pregnant but still excited about this big news!
Mr. Yell and I have decided to move to Seattle, Washington in August! Zach has been accepted into grad school in Seattle and we have been wanting to move there for quite some time, so we are taking this incredible opportunity to go on a new adventure.
We have been planning and preparing for this new part of our lives for a over a year and I am so excited to finally share our plans with everyone. We are both so very excited for this new chapter and doors that are opening for both of us as we venture westward.
Please feel free to share any advice with me if you have any, I will definitely take as much as I can, and if you are in the area, hit me up! Let’s be friends!
I am loving this Christmas season! I mean I do every year, so that isn’t much of a surprise. I just really love the holidays. I love the decorations, the food, and all the joy. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel like the joy is just contagious and people can’t help but to feel a bit of happiness.
This Christmas marks Mr. Yell and I’s second holiday season as a family and it has already been such fun! Yes; the holidays are always stressful trying to figure out whose house to go to and what times we need to see everyone; but this year has still been wonderful. This year we decided to dive into the Christmas spirit by making some new Yell family traditions. Making these traditions has been one of my favorite parts of being a “newlywed”. By making these fun little things to do each year, we feel like we are becoming more like our own little family and it literally makes me giggle with excitement!
It’s been an interesting process trying to find things we want to carry over from our own families into our new one. My family has several traditions that I have enjoyed putting into Mr. Yell and mine’s holidays; and Zach has some new ones he has invented for us to do.
Decorating for Christmas
Mr. Yell and I started decorating the Saturday right after Thanksgiving. We put up Christmas lights, decorated our (live!) Christmas tree, and decorated the kitchen with cute little towels and other little Christmas things. It has been such fun getting to decorate together in our new home and it looks so cozy now! We even managed to get Mru, our cat, a little stocking for Christmas this year. Too cute, right? 😉
12 Dates of Christmas
This year we each created 6 different dates and put them into envelopes. Each day that we open an envelope, we get a surprise date that is Christmas themed. It has been such fun so far! Some of our dates have included: driving to see Christmas lights, getting hot chocolate from Starbucks, and …
For the past couple of years Mr. Yell and I have hosted a small Christmas party in our home. It is a fun time of sharing Christmas cheer and just spending time with friends before the holidays. It also helps me get some good practice on making Christmas goodies and deserts!
I hope this Christmas season fills you with warmth and love and joy.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Yell and I enjoyed our 1 year anniversary in the desert a few weeks ago, and we loved it! One of our favorite parts of Marfa was where Mr. Yell and I stayed for the last half of our trip: the magical El Cosmico.
We stayed with an Air BnB for the first couple of days of our trip, but once we moved over to El Cosmico, the Marfa Magic was amplified. El Cosmico has everything including: tipis and yurts, outdoor hot tubs and showers, and several areas for hammocking around the property.
El Cosmico caters to really anyone since they offer camping spots to pitch your tent and have a community kitchen if you would rather cook than eat out. While Mr. Yell and I were there we saw couples, families, and friends making road-trip stops; proving that not only is this place for everyone, but that El Cosmico is a must see!
Going into this experience, I had some very high expectations due to some other places Mr. Yell and I have stayed (similar to El Cosmico) and honestly this place was wonderful. While we were mere “honeymooners”, there have been movie stars who have stayed here to really experience the real Marfa Magic while filming. (Kevin Bacon and Matthew McConaughey were rumored to be in town while we were there…. so you never know who you will see!)
I really just loved the relaxed atmosphere and the community house in the front of the property. The house has free coffee and teas in the morning, records playing constantly, a fun gift shop, and cool drinks for sale.
The only things El Cosmico could improve on would be working on providing more of the “little things” (see Tree House Point for some GREAT examples) and having some of the lights and campfires going during non-festival times. There was a night we would have loved to make s’mores or enjoy the full experience, but there are only two festivals in Marfa a year, and we happened to miss them both… so that meant way less lights and no campfires. So if you want the full experience, be sure to hit up the music festival in March or the film festival in July.
Other than that, everything was lovely and Mr. Yell and I felt so refreshed after our visit to the desert, and El Cosmico definitely played a part in that.
So if you’re ever in Marfa… head on over to El Cosmico!
Recently, Mr. Yell and I went on our first year anniversary trip (yay!) to Marfa, Texas (By the wonderful recommendation of a Marriage Roots post). Marfa is in the Southwestern part of Texas, so if you have ever wanted a great mix of art, desert, and continually saying “hmm, that’s interesting…” then Marfa is the place for you.
Before I get deep into this post, there are a few things that need mentioning. The first thing is that Marfa is a bit of a slow-moving town. Seriously, the business hours on many of the food places, shops, and art exhibits are basically just guidelines. There were several times we would plan out a day’s worth of meals just to be scrambling because the times were merely suggestions.
Second, Marfa is for those who enjoy already-developed artists. This was only one of a few disappointments that I experienced. I was expecting a town with more street art and “starving artists”. Instead, Marfa has developed in the last 15 years to be more upscale in many aspects including food and retail prices. While this isn’t necessarily a negative thing (unless you are a local—a post for another time), it came as mapa bit of a surprise. So if you are planning on going to Marfa, plan to spend $15-$20 on food for every meal, or try to bring some PB&J’s.
Mr. Yell’s (and mine!) absolutely favorite place to eat was Marpho. This was not only the most reasonably priced, but also had a wonderful atmosphere and some amazing pho! While the pho is obviously the specialty, they also serve Vietnamese sandwiches and have finger foods during Happy Hour.
There is really only one place in town for the best locally brewed coffee and somewhat locally made ice cream, and that is Frama! This place is very cozy and has SO MANY options! There are hot and iced drinks, smoothies and juices, and of course ice cream with unique flavors (I had the Rosemary and Olive Oil… DELISH.)
Food Shark Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night Grilled Cheese Parlour
This place was AMAZING. On the outside (like most things in Marfa) it doesn’t look like much, but the interior was pretty cool. The only lighting used in the tiny restaurant is the glow of antique TV screens and music is played on an eight-track player. Not only is the atmosphere killer, the grilled cheeses are INSANE. You can choose from four different selections, which rotate out as ingredients run low, and each cheese is grilled to perfection. It was definitely a fun, quirky, experience; and I would definitely love to go back.
Outdoor games, snacks, creative seating, and a bar… Planet Marfa is the place to be on the weekend. With a teepee, renovated school bus, and a loft, there are so many places to sit and chat, and cool areas to experience little pieces of the Marfa Magic. Live music and dancing adds a bit of a party to the place as well as ping-pong tables and other “lawn” games. Even if just to check out the atmosphere, Planet Marfa is a must-see while in town.
While in Marfa, Mr. Yell and I decided to do at least one “fancy” dinner for our anniversary, this dinner being at Cochineal. Located in downtown Marfa, Cochineal was the perfect place to enjoy the desert air and fine dining all at the same time. They have a large selection of delicious dishes, just be aware that the menu changes often and reservations are needed.
These are just a FEW of the many places in Marfa to eat, but these were by far mine and Mr. Yell’s favorites. These places had very consistent, and LABELED, hours of operation as well as delicious food and creative atmospheres.
Back in November Mr. Yell and I were able to visit some friends of ours who live in Alberta, Canada. It was such fun to see our sweet friends and enjoy some time in a new place. The last time I had visited Canada was when I was very young, and I was there for a limited amount of time, so it was wonderful to go back.
We visited Banff National Park in Alberta, and it was one of the most incredible places I have been. The mountains were breathtaking and the lake we visited was gorgeous.
Since we went in the winter, most of the trails were closed and some of the roads were too treacherous for driving to make it to other lakes in the park, but this one was such a rewarding place.
If I ever get the chance to visit again, I would like to spend more time at the National Park and just enjoy the outdoors. The mountain air was so pure and wonderful… something that is nonexistent in good ole Louisiana.
The red chairs we found are actually symbolic of the most scenic places in the parks in Canada. Finding the chairs is a fun challenge and lets you know when you have stumbled onto a view not many people get to see.
I always feel most at home in mountain areas. I love the mountains but also the trees and the rivers. This one was so pretty with the blue water and the roar of the water despite the ice. The river was fairly close to downtown Banff (which is in the middle of the park) so it is pretty easy to find.
The mountains surround the cozy downtown and made me feel a bit like I was in Whoville from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It’s always fun to see a little magic in places!
All of their soaps are handmade and have natural ingredients for a variety of needs. I bought a bar of vanilla orange facial soap and I love it! They also carry lotions, bath bombs, and lip balms of all scents!
While visiting we made many side stops just to get out in the cool air and enjoy the snow. One of the cutest places was a tiny gas station that also rented little chalets. We were able to stop in to get warm and to enjoy some yummy chocolates!
Cochrane Coffee Traders was the cutest (I know… I use the word “cute” a lot… but how can I not??) coffee shop ever! It had high rafters and a mural depicting a Canadian skyline of mountains. I got a Dirty Chai Latte which is really just a regular chai latte with a shot of espresso… SO GOOD.
Do you have any favorite places or recommendations for Canadian adventures? Do you agree with my suggestions or have any questions? Let me know in the comments or feel free to contact me in the contact section here on the blog.