andrew-neel-girl studying

Things I’d like to do differently in graduate school

Put school first -- no compromises  I told my Toastmasters club I would not be attending meetings for the next several weeks due to my school schedule. For my first class in the program, I am required to attend a live virtual class once a week. However, this virtual class is scheduled during the days… Continue reading Things I’d like to do differently in graduate school

Rome Porta Tiburtina

Still around

This was a photo from two years ago when my husband and I finally went to Italy for our honeymoon about a year after we got married. This photo was taken on our first day arriving to Rome at the train station walking to our AirBnB. We were elated to finally take some vacation, we… Continue reading Still around


2018 Reading Wish List

In 2018, I will probably read less books because I will not have a lot of recreational reading time due to graduate school. But that does not mean I won't be able to carve out time. I usually like to read a paper book before going to bed to relax my eyes after interacting with… Continue reading 2018 Reading Wish List


Mocha kayaks at Lake Skadar, Montenegro

Mocha is so lucky to have traveled more than we have. She got to go to Montenegro last year with Vikki (Journey Through the Trees). Death by Kayak paddle To begin the day we all met down by the river in our village of Virpazar all ready and rearing to go. I can’t remember the… Continue reading Mocha kayaks at Lake Skadar, Montenegro


The 2017 52-Hike Challenge reflections

I finished the 52 Hike Challenge on December 31st. It really did take me all year to do it. I almost thought I was not going to finish this challenge because in the beginning of December, I was on #43. But another part of me thought it was still possible to power through 9 more hikes… Continue reading The 2017 52-Hike Challenge reflections


You’ll find it here in the bottom of the canyon…

This is from Hike #50 from my 52 Hike Challenge--  Franklin Canyon -- a canyon that divides Beverly Hills and Studio City -- respectively, the hip Westside and sprawling San Fernando Valley. Franklin Canyon is not as crowded as Griffith Park nor Runyon Canyon. It is funny how a few miles down Coldwater Canyon Road… Continue reading You’ll find it here in the bottom of the canyon…


“Marlena” by Julie Buntin

Female friendships...namely, teenage female friendships are interesting. They're complicated. Marlena by Julie Buntin follows the story of a 15-year old girl, Cat, who moves to a new, rural town in Northern Michigan with her brother and her newly divorced mom. Cat befriends a girl next door named Marlena -- she's older and cooler -- and life for… Continue reading “Marlena” by Julie Buntin


The Northern Lights in Iceland

We went to Iceland in late November and sometime during our trip, we found the Northern Lights ONCE out of the 6 days we were there Below these photos are of the Northern Lights from that one Monday night. Understand the weather science of the Northern Lights. You see, the Northern Lights depend on multiple factors.… Continue reading The Northern Lights in Iceland


Happy New Year!

Where did 2017 go? Gladly all through 2017 I carried a planner each day to track good habits, journal each event, accomplishments, adventures, etc. I never thought I'd eventually adopt the idea of having a paper planner and LOVED every time I open my planner. I've also met a community of other people like me… Continue reading Happy New Year!


Top Posts of 2017

Here a round-up of the top posts from this year. It was interesting to see which posts had the most views but I also wanted to share my favorite posts for the year. Most Views: About - Not really a post but it did get quite a lot of views. I miss looking out of the… Continue reading Top Posts of 2017


Travel Tuesday, a 2017 review

  This year because I had a lot of PTO, I took a day off here and there otherwise I'd stop earning more PTO -- this would be equivalent to working for free. Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington) Central California Coast Sequoia Iceland Hiking - Not really travelling but I've been hiking a lot… Continue reading Travel Tuesday, a 2017 review


Celebrating longer, darker nights at Descanso Gardens

Last year, we went to the Enchanted Forest in Descanso Gardens. Each year from November to early January, they transform the place into something magical -- well...the credit all goes to lighting effects. It is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I thought this would something we would every year, but… Continue reading Celebrating longer, darker nights at Descanso Gardens