New York Run

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Alright, so apparently, I forgot to hit publish when I tried to post this photo a week and a half ago. Well, better late than never, right? 😛

This photo was taken while my husband and I were on an awesome run in New York. He grew up in the country, I grew up in the city. And let me tell you, running outside in the country is BEAUTIFUL! I mean, so is the city, but it was pretty awesome to go running without all the traffic, the noise, and the pollution! Clear air, clear skies, clear minds. It was an amazing run.

Only about 4 miles completed but it was a fantastic run. Plus, I got to do a workout with the hubs. We just woke up on a Friday morning and decided it was time to go for a run. Oh how I wish I could go back to that Friday morning and have that weather again. Where we currently live, it’s HOT. STILL. Sure, I was freezing before we went on the run but it was the perfect running weather.

We were on vacation. Visiting family and taking our son all over to meet his family for the first time. But we still were committed to getting some workout time in while we could. Why not? If you have the time to workout and you love it, you might as well do it, right?! That’s how we felt about it. 😛

What did you do today that kept you fit?! Where is your favorite place to workout?! Tell us all about it. Tag us in a post or comment below!

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5K for $50K

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Interesting title for a post, right? Well, it’s an interesting topic.

What are you drinking right now? Is it perhaps, water? I’m willing to bet that if you are drinking some water, that it’s bottled or it’s water that has been cleaned and purified. What about the water in your bath tub or shower…or even the water that you use to wash your dishes or clean your clothes? That’s probably pretty clean too.

Some people don’t have that luck. And it’s not their fault. Some children are just born into that society where it’s absolutely normal for them to see merky water. I won’t lie, if I see any sort of funny color…even just a TINGE of some sort of abnormality, I will not drink the water and I will call whoever I need to, to get it taken care of. Again, some people don’t have such luck.

Because of this, my friend Michael has chosen to do something greater. And I would like for you to meet him. 🙂 This is the best way I knew I could help him on his journey! Since I am going to have this baby in less than 2 months, I figured that trying to run a 5k every day until he reached $50K isn’t going to happen. Haha. So, this is my contribution. And I hope many of you have stuck around to read the rest of Michael’s story! I did it in question and answer format.

What is Charity:Water?

They are a non-profit organization on a mission to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet. They’ve funded 13,644 water projects in 22 countries. And yes I took that directly from their website.

Charity-Water does three things that I love. First, they have a 100% model. This means that all of your donations go straight to the field, while private donors fund their operating costs. Second, they have a high value for transparency. They show you exactly where your money goes, to the extent that they actually install GPS units on every water project. Finally, they work locally. They have strong local partnerships in each of the countries they work with, insuring that each water project will be maintained properly.

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What made you decide to do this?

I’ve traveled to over 20 countries myself. I have seen the effects of extreme poverty and witnessed first hand all kinds of injustices around the world. Those experiences changed me and left me with an insatiable hunger to see life brought to the nations. I have seen so much, and become passionate about so many different causes, and for a long time I didn’t know how to move forward. There are people who need access to clean water, orphans who need a home and family, women and children who need freedom from the sex trade industry… how do you pick just one? At the same time, there are so many organizations out there who are already doing incredible work towards these causes… that is how I came up with the idea for Bloomworks.

And What is Bloomworks?

Bloomworks is an organization I’m starting. The mission is to empower people to move from apathy to engagement, and provide awareness and resources for organizations that are bringing life to the nations. The goal is to use social media, film, art, and creativity to inspire and challenge people to become part of a bigger story. As I said, I couldn’t pick just one cause, so this is my chance to support all kinds of different causes, one project at a time. The 5K for $50K is my first project.

You’re running 5k a day, what keeps you going?

Thinking about the people, who everyday have to walk three hours to fetch clean drinking water. The least I can do is run thirty minutes. I literally picture myself cheering them on, yelling that help is on the way, telling them to keep going.  And when I get tired, I picture them cheering me on, yelling right back, “Keep going!

Where did the inspiration come from?

The idea for the 5K for $50K came from a conversation at work. I can listen to podcasts at work, and one day stumbled across an interview of Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity-Water. I was so inspired by his story, and by the 100% model. I told my co-worker about it, and suggested we run 5K a day until we raised $5,000 for Charity-Water. Later, I bumped the number up to $50,000 and really got excited.

The inspiration for Bloomworks came after the 5K idea. This kind of work seems to be the intersection of my passions, talents, and desire to change the world. I love working with people, and I love using creativity to spread ideas. It became clear that there was a great opportunity to build something unique, and I am excited to see where this could go.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 27, from Wisconsin, and most importantly, a newlywed! I love my wife and am absolutely enjoying the adventure that is our first year of marriage. We met in Spain, both of us were attending G42, a six-month leadership academy tucked away on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. We had our wedding date set and venue booked by the 28th day of our relationship. 10 months later we were married. New Years was our one-year anniversary of being together.

I love the outdoors, competitive sports, craft beer, and movies. I’ve recorded some spoken word films and recently written a book, which you can find on my website if interested.

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Besides the obvious, why are YOU doing this?

Someone has to do something. It might as well be me. Whether I get five, or five thousand people to join me, I will be satisfied. I believe all it really takes to change the world is one committed person. At the same time I know others will join and our influence will only multiply.

Do you have anyone joining you in this?

Yes! Actually a friend of mine from Texas just told me he was going to run 5K a day as well. I’m excited!

Was this planned or spur of the moment?

I am someone who gets lots of vision all the time, and there were plenty of ideas I was toying with leading up to the New Year. A mentor of mine once told me, “When you have too many dreams, just pick one or two to start, and the rest can come later.” This idea was one I was most passionate about. With New Years approaching, it seemed like a great time to start something.

Did you properly train for this or just jump into it? (the running)

Ummm no. No training, haha. In fact, the most I had run leading up to the New Year, was maybe five times in five months. Now I’m running 5K a day. Needless to say, I have been icing my knee all night.

Are you having fun while doing it?

I am having lots of fun! I love listening to music while I run, and I feel like I am changing the world with every step I take. Sometimes I feel pain in my knee with every step I take, but that’s when I just turn the music up.

What are you going to do after you’ve reached your deadline or your goal?

I am going to pick another organization, brainstorm an idea of how to advocate for them, pick a goal amount to raise, and launch it! I have no idea what that will be, but I am excited! That is the beauty of Bloomworks. For now, I am focusing on this campaign. We have a long way to go, and lots of work to be done to hit the goal amount before the deadline.

Michael has a HUGE heart for this and I am incredibly inspired by it! I continue to follow him on instagram and facebook to see how things are going. You definitely can too! Michael’s instagram is

Also, I wanted to post this on here…I really liked what he added to his instagram post on Day 12.

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“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated.
Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives.

I’m doing 5k a day until we raise $50,000 for clean water projects. Over $900 raised so far!! Join the movement!

#bloomworks #5Kfor50K #running #run #instagood”

Please help the cause! It’s a great one with all the right intentions! I will be with you on this one Michael and I will also be joining you on the next project!! 🙂

5kfor50k11 5K for $50K

***All photos were “stolen” from Michael’s Instagram or Facebook pages.

After post update: 23JAN15 Michael has raised $1,125 WHICH MEANS…37 people will get clean water. 🙂

5kfor50k11 5K for $50K

Travel Tuesday – Raleigh, North Carolina

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Alright! This is week 3 of my Travel Tuesday series! I am so excited about this! You guys, people are actually wanting to write and let me post onto my blog! Plus, I get to learn a little bit more about people’s hometowns! Especially the people who have followed me and taken the time to chat with me, it’s pretty awesome to see where they are from!

So, from last week we were in Portsmouth, England and today we are heading to the states to Raleigh, North Carolina! Miss Madison was happy to write a post for me of the city she goes to college at and I was happy that she was happy! Lots of happiness going around here! She blogs over at

Here’s what she wrote!
As the capitol city of North Carolina, Raleigh has endless opportunities for both its residents and visitors. With almost half a million people living in Raleigh, the city is bustling with activity. I attend North Carolina State University in the city. Being a large university, our campus itself has a lot to offer. From the beautiful Hunt Library (named one of the most spectacular libraries in the world here)  to Talley Student Union, our campus offers many modern and innovative centers for studying and meeting up.
6bc312cc67ffd3a9a278cdfad2473fcb Travel Tuesday - Raleigh, North CarolinaOne of my personal favorite spots in Raleigh is the Red Hat Amphitheater. Located right in the midst of the downtown atmosphere, this outdoor venue is perfect for fun summer concerts. You can triple the entertainment with our two other awesome concert venues, the PNC Arena and Walnut Creek Amphitheater. Among the three of these locations, Raleigh has hosted countless celebrities. I’ve included a picture of my favorite concert from the Red Hat, the Jonas Brothers in 2013 🙂
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There is a countless number of restaurants and shops to be enjoyed in Raleigh. Cameron Village is home to many of the city’s most unique and trendy boutiques. The Pit is a restaurant located in downtown Raleigh that is famous for its barbecue and has been featured on many TV programs, including Man v Food. The Daily Planet Cafe is a cute and fresh place to enjoy breakfast or lunch while exploring downtown or visiting the Museum of Natural Sciences, conveniently located right next door.
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You can’t go to Raleigh without attending an NCSU football game. You’ll find people tailgating in the parking lot of Carter-Finley hours before kickoff each game. The Wolfpack is the city’s very own pride and joy and the only thing that could possibly top the football games are the ACC basketball games right next door at the PNC Arena.
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Finally, one of the biggest events that takes place in Raleigh (besides First Night for New Years Eve) is the annual NC State Fair. If you’re in North Carolina during mid-October you should definitely check out the fair. With all the usual rides and delicious foods, the fair also offers nightly concerts from various genres. Reaching almost one million visitors yearly, the NC State Fair is obviously an experience to have. If nothing else, just go walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. But for now, enjoy this picture of Before You Exit performing at the fair in 2014. (If it’s not obvious, I love concerts.. and boy bands 🙂 )
6bc312cc67ffd3a9a278cdfad2473fcb Travel Tuesday - Raleigh, North CarolinaAnd here are the State Fair fireworks that closed the night 🙂
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I know that Raleigh has so much more to offer that I have yet to explore and I have only included some of my favorite places and activities in the city, but as a freshman at NCSU, I look forward to getting to know Raleigh better in my next couple of years. One cool thing about Raleigh is that you can drive a few hours and be at the beach, or you can drive a few hours the other way and be in the mountains! North Carolina is truly a state that has it all!

Thank you to Madison for writing this awesome post! I think North Carolina would be a fun place to go sometime! And for me…it’s not going to be too hard for me to get there!! 🙂

What do you all think of North Carolina?! Anyone thinking of visiting?!

Make sure you show Madison some love!!

Want to be featured on my Travel Tuesday posts?! Let me know in the comments! OR email me at

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Travel Tuesday – Portsmouth, England

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So, anyone that follows this blog knows about a new series that I have decided to start on.


I know a lot of travel blogs have this series as well (I just found out after I started doing this…man, I thought I was being all creative and what not) but with these posts, I wanted to get the perspectives of those who live there! Plus, it’s a way for this preggo to travel the world without having to leave my seat. 😉

Last week, we were in Melbourne, Australia with Rosie. You can read that post HERE. After I posted her entry, I had the brilliant idea to collect more posts from other bloggers who wanted to talk about their hometowns! So, I went on twitter and posted a few tweets asking people to get involved. Also, I was on the #bdib chat and talked to people about it too. I was pretty excited about it. I even got a bunch of people who were interested in it! Sent some emails and Jessica was the first to reply! So, let’s just to Portsmouth, England with the loved Jessica at

Here’s what she wrote!

My 7 favourite places in Portsmouth, England.

I have lived in the coastal town of Portsmouth, located in the South of
England, for the past 2 and a half years, after moving down here to go
to university. When I first looked around the uni, I could never have
imagined how much I would love the place and I honestly see it as my
home now. For this blog post, I have decided to pick out my favourite
parts of Portsmouth and tell you what it is about each that I love so
much. I know 7 is such a random number but I couldn’t pick out just 5!

1.)       The beach
Originally I am from Buckinghamshire, just outside of London, which is
inland and therefore I love going down to Southsea beach in Portsmouth.
I find the sea so calming and whenever I need to clear my head and
gather my thoughts I always head down to the beach, sit on a bench and
just think. I have made some very important decisions whilst down at
the beach and I will genuinely miss it when I graduate from university
this year.
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2.)  The Spinnaker Tower
If anyone were to ask me the one place they should visit in Portsmouth,
I would tell them the Spinnaker every time. You can go up to the top
(it is not too expensive) and the views from up there are simply
incredible. From there, you can see the whole of Portsmouth and the
surrounding areas and it is stunning.
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3.)    Guildhall
A lot of the student areas of Portsmouth are based in and around
Guildhall Square, which means this was the first place I really got to
know as a student down here. During my first week of living here we had
our Fresher’s Ball inside Guildhall and I have been to see a comedy
show in there too.
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4.)  The Kings Theatre
The Kings Theatre is located on Albert Road, which is where a lot of
second and third year students spend a lot of time. The theatre has had
some fantastic shows playing and it is good to know it is there if you
ever fancy spending a night watching a show.
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5.)    The Pier
I absolutely adore Clarence Pier because of the arcades. Perhaps it is
because it reminds me of my childhood holidays, but I love going into
the arcades and spending my loose change on all the machines.
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6.)     Southsea Castle
Southsea Castle is located right on the sea front and has beautiful
views from the top, looking out to sea. However, the best part of the
castle is not in the views but in the history that the castle contains.
It was built in 1544 as a defence mechanism for Henry VIII and was used
as a military base for 400 years. It is free to look around the castle
and it’s very interesting to learn the history behind Portsmouth.
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7.)     Hong Kong Charlies
I wouldn’t be a proper student if I didn’t mention my favourite bar!
Hong Kong Charlies is a vodka bar that sells candy flavoured vodka. My
favourite is probably the refreshers vodka with lemonade. I can’t count
the amount of fantastic evenings I have had in this bar!

aff82f66f27910f410d01a14fb6ef700 Travel Tuesday - Portsmouth, England
** The photos of the Spinnaker Tower and Southsea Castle were taken by
my friend Aran Mckenna, more of his work can be found on his Facebook

What a great post, Jessica! Thanks for sharing your home with us!!

Portsmouth looks beautiful! And amazing! And…I WANT TO GO THERE! I wonder, is it even a good idea for me to be doing these posts or am I going to get a case of Wanderlust? I might. haha. OOOhhhh. Just came up with another idea. I love when that happens. haha.

Anyway…make sure you all show Jessica some love on her blog and her twitter!

ALSO, make sure you pop on over next week to see where we go next!!!

If you’re interested in writing a guest post about your hometown, let me know in the comments! OR you can email me at 🙂

aff82f66f27910f410d01a14fb6ef700 Travel Tuesday - Portsmouth, England

aff82f66f27910f410d01a14fb6ef700 Travel Tuesday - Portsmouth, England

Travel Tuesday – A Guest Post

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One of my darling blogging friends and I have been talking for a little while now. And I am sure you have seen her name all over my blog as it is! But when she agreed to do a quest post for me, I was ECSTATIC! She writes really well and I have never had a guest writer yet!

She decided that she wanted to write about her home town and it actually inspired me to do a series with other people who want to be guest writers as well. I don’t know how often I will get people to write for my blog, but this is a REALLY great start! Here’s what Miss Rosie had to say!!

Welcome to my home town: Melbourne
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When Abigail asked me to write up a guest post for her blog I was ecstatic and happy to do so but I drew a big, fat blank. I get pretty overwhelmed when I can write about anything. You’d think it’d be liberating, but alas I have a million and one ideas and then NONE at all! I listed down what I wanted readers of Hey Darling Love to know about me, essentially an Aussie gal who’s obsessed with fashion and beauty – and that’s when it hit me; I’m an Aussie, what better topic to write about than my home town of Melbourne.

I can give you all the Wikipedia spiel about Melbourne and how it’s the second largest city in Australia, with a population of more than four million people yadda yadda yadda – you can look that shit up yourself. I want you to know MY Melbourne. Things I love to do and see around the city that I would recommend to you if you were to come and visit – AND YOU SHOULD VISIT!

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First and foremost the weather here is erratic to say the least. Every true Melburnian will pack an umbrella AND a pair of sunglasses. It’s known to have four seasons in one day – an aspect that’s lovely yet totally annoying if you’ve planned an outdoor event. At the races this year we got rained on one day and then 3 days later we got sunburnt, WTF?!

Now I love to shop and lucky for me the shopping here is OFF THE HOOK! People from all around Australia will come to Melbourne to shop. There’s everything from high end boutiques to funky little stores to huge malls. We are very spoilt for choice. If you have a spare day in the city I would highly recommend just wandering around all the little streets and laneways and get lost looking at all the amazing stores.

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Melbourne’s known for its amazing coffee culture (not to mention outstanding food and wine – that’s a whole other blog post!). There are so many coffee shops and cafés and pop up coffee labs that you don’t have to travel too far to get a fabulous latte (or whatever floats your boat). It can be quite funny how people can get very pretentious over their “blend” but it’s well worth it! It’s a time honored tradition to go to brunch on the weekend and find the best cup of coffee in town. Don’t even mention Starbucks here – that shit’s pure sacrilege!

Last, but definitely not least, the art and theatre scene is pure heaven for a self-proclaimed culture nut like me! You can catch award winning musicals on all the time (Les Miserables and Once are on at the moment) as well as amazing exhibitions on at the National Gallery of Victoria – right in the heart of the city.

If you do decide to come and visit make sure to give me a shout out – I’d be more than happy to play tour guide…I just ask that you buy me a decent cup of coffee!

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Thanks SO MUCH Rosie for writing and being my first guest post. Also, thank you for inspiring me! You’re so amazing and I am glad we became blogging friends. Someday, I would LOVE to come to Australia and maybe I will be able to visit you! Who knows?!

Make sure you all show Rosie some love over at her blog as well!!

Much love,

tfss-706a7a14-60f3-4a99-adf4-4109744acb34-image Travel Tuesday - A Guest Post

tfss-706a7a14-60f3-4a99-adf4-4109744acb34-image Travel Tuesday - A Guest Post