Having my first birthday celebration in Australia was a blast to say the least, especially as it marks me becoming a quarter of a century old (WOW!). I love change, so in moving here from the states (exactly 3 months ago), my mind was focused on many other more important things than the fact that my birthday was coming up reasonably soon. Normally I would sit back and try to let my birthday pass without fuss or need for celebration, but Dale and his family decided to ignore my apathy – and I’m glad they did.

Something else that I love besides change is coffee, much like a majority of the world. However, only few can say that they get to celebrate their birthday on what is considered “National Coffee Day” (United States), and I consider that quite an honor. So I take this day pretty seriously. For that reason, to celebrate both my birthday and to be a spirited supporter of National Coffee Day, Dale granted my wish of finding a Starbucks in the city. Melbourne has the closest Starbucks, and the trip into the mess of people would have definitely been worth it, but instead of going on a solo coffee mission we decided to combine the coffee with something a little more out of the ordinary. Dale and I had been talking for quite a while about getting tattoos together, so it seemed fitting, with our wedding coming up and a cause for celebration at hand, to find a tattoo shop in the city that would give us each our first tattoo. Upon arriving in the city I found it necessary to ease my Starbucks craving (and maybe some nerves too) before getting freshly inked. Such a typical destination may seem silly to mention in the opinion of some (especially those from the U.S. since there’s almost literally a Starbucks on every corner), but being that I haven’t had a Starbucks since the day I left the Los Angeles airport, I am more than delighted to include this little bit of information. And in case you were wondering, no the iced almond soy latte did not disappoint 😉

But getting tattoos was an experience completely unlike the aforementioned coffee run. No, I am not going to say that getting a tattoo was terrible, although my nerves before the needle pierced my skin were convinced that I would hate myself for actually going through with it. It was actually easy! One must take into consideration the fact that I only got four initials strung together in a type of script (altogether about 1 inch tall by 4 inches in length), but I am, without pause, ridiculously happy that I got this tattoo, and I’m glad that we decided to go to Blue Lady Tattoo in downtown Melbourne. To  quench the curiosity of those who do not know, my tattoo is something that, simply put, reflects the love that I have for my fiance. So, Dale’s initials – LTHV – are etched into my forearm, and my initials are forever marked on his chest, right over his heart. I know that to some this may seem corny, but 1) we didn’t do it for you, we did it for us, and 2) we couldn’t think of anything else worth marking on our bodies forever.


The rest of my birthday consisted of me being spoiled by Dale’s sister and parents. I got to eat some of my favorite food – pizza and chocolate mud cake – and spend time with my family here in Aus. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect first birthday in this country.

Some other things that I’ve been up to lately: more smoothie experiments and (some may be surprised here) baking! Since I can’t work until my next visa goes through I have spent much of my free time exploring the world of baked goods. Not just sweet treats though, although I have made several and given them to Dale’s family, but snacks and treats that are more healthy and rewarding to the body. If you’re curious about the recipes that I’ve been up to you can check out my Pinterest, they’re all on there, or you can just ask! I have recipes for a few different types of protein balls (peanut butter, oatmeal, and cinnamon vanilla, which is my favorite), some muffins, cookies, and bread. But for now I’m going to share the link to my favorite protein ball recipe because they’re really the tastiest, protein-packed treats I’ve ever had. And you don’t even have to bake them! So if you’re as intrigued as I was, check the link out:

Cinnamon Vanilla Breakfast Protein Bites and Video! {No Bake, Gluten Free, Vegan Friendly}


And if you’re up for trying a smoothie that I recently had after a good workout, you should definitely give this one a look. The peanut butter and banana combination was perfect for a post-workout pick-me-up. So here ya go!

Banana Peanut Butter Bomb

1/2 banana

1/2 cup frozen mango

1 spoon full (tbsp.) smooth peanut butter

1 tsp. chia seeds

1 hand full baby spinach

1/2 cup light cream protein milk

1/2 cup coconut water

*The chia seeds I used were black and white, but just black chia seeds are preferable.

*I used protein milk because I wanted an extra little boost of protein, but milk without protein is still good!

*You can use plain water if you don’t have, or if you don’t like, coconut water. It works just the same.


That’s all for now! Things are going really well over here and wedding planning is coming along really nicely! Thank you for your continued support of my journey overseas.

Love & Blessings,


1  Corinthians 13:4-8



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