Life as we know it

Our Singletary Adventure

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gettin artsy

Recently I have picked up a new hobby of (attempting) calligraphy and brush lettering. My dad got me a beginners calligraphy set for Christmas and this summer my brother brought me home brush pens from his business trip to Japan. Yeah, its pretty crazy that we ended up moving to Japan just a few months after he came home telling us all about it. Anyway, I have always loved doodling, and my school notebooks were covered. I was never good at drawing actually things but I was decent at making signs and decorating notes to my friends. Oh the days of sending notes back and forth in between classes. haha

For me, using a calligraphy pen is much more difficult than the brush pens. The brush pens remind me more like a marker or small paint brush. I basically just started following people on Instagram and learning from their videos and pictures. I came across this challenge that @karlastorey_ started that is called the #letteringtruthchallenge. It stated January 11th and continues until the 31st. Its to not only help practice hand lettering but also to meditate on the word of God. Here are a few of my posts from this...

Hope you like them! If you've been doing this stuff for a while Id love to hear any tips or suggestions!! 

Have you started any new fun hobbies?


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Osaka, Japan || Aquarium Kaiyukan

One of our first days out and about together in Osaka we I decided we should go to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan! Its one of the largest public aquariums in the world. I am a HUGE nerd when it comes to sea life. Although as I get older, I'm becoming more sensitive to seeing animals in captivity. I love animals and I love getting to see them up close and personal but I wish they didn't have to be so confined. Anyway... We set off for a day of sightseeing and I was SUPER excited to see their whale sharks... I had never seen one besides on TV so I couldn't wait! 

One thing that I'm loving about Japan is how easy it is to get around. I love that the trains and subways pretty much go everywhere. Once I was shown how to use google maps to route my train travels, it was game time! It took us about 40 minutes or so to get to the aquarium from our apartment. Once you get off at Osakako Station its less than a 10 min walk. The aquarium is right on Osaka Bay with the large Tempozan Ferris Wheel so its impossible to miss!

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

I really wanted to ride the ferris wheel but Mike was against it... He's not too fond of heights and since I got him to jump out of an airplane last year he said thats good enough! lol Hopefully I can get the other wife to go with me and we can ride it one day! Its open 10am-10pm and its 800 yen for a ticket. At night it's lit up with colored lights that determine the weather forecast for the next day. 

Outside the Aquarium


They have two whale sharks both around 16-18 feet... which is small for a whale shark ;) 

The aquarium is open 10am-8pm and its 2,300 yen for an adult ticket! Here is the aquarium website in case you ever find yourself in Osaka! :) Once we got our tickets and walked inside, I went picture and video crazy! You follow a set route and it takes you around the main tank with the sharks and rays a few times while showing other various tanks along the way. Theres a cool jellyfish exhibit, an arctic zone, shark area and even an area where you can pet some of the sharks and rays. I thoroughly enjoyed petting the rough sharks and squishy rays... and once again Mike was good so he just took my picture. haha 


After wandering around the aquarium and taking way too many pictures, we decided to go grab lunch. We both are wanting to try Japanese cuisine but there are a few things we don't want to eat... so ordering on a menu can be a little challenging if there isn't an English translation. There is a mall right in the harbor next to the aquarium and we just chose to find a spot there. We decided to try this restaurant that made okonomiyaki which is a Japanese style pancake. Its flour, egg, cabbage, seafood or meat all grilled together and then topped with a sweet sauce and mayo. I chose to have one with kimchi and pork and Mike tried one with beef. We both really liked it although Mike was still hungry and probably could have eaten 2 or 3. ;) 

almost done..
ready to eat!

We walked around a little bit and then grabbed some coffee and headed home. We were only about a mile or so away from Universal Studios Osaka but we are saving that adventure for another day! :) It was such a great time and I think its a must see if you're ever in this neck of the woods! :) 

Osaka Bay
Love you a latte
Linking up with A Brit and A Southerner for #WeekendWanderlust! Hope everyone has a great weekend! xo 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Well Hello There 2016

As usual my blogging presence was sporadic throughout the summer and I expected to be back on track by September. Obviously that didn't happen, and life was a little crazy there for a few months. Basically Mike and I were going through some tough decisions and transitions... but God had us right where he wanted us. Long story short we landed ourselves in Osaka, Japan the second week of December and we are SO happy to be here!

Downtown Osaka.
Ferris wheel here in Osaka that Mike refuses to ride haha

Japan has been very different and exciting. I'm sure there will be more posts to come about our experiences here in Japan and I can't wait to share! :) So far I am realizing that sushi and hibachi as we know it are completely different here. Things are VERY clean. The trains and subways are very peaceful and quiet. They love KFC. They have umbrella holders on their bikes... this would have been very helpful last year in Italy. I vividly remember having to put my hood on and race home in the rain because I hadn't remastered the one handed thing. Holding an umbrella and riding a bike is an art.. especially if its windy. I did master this eventually, just to let y'all know. ;) Haha Anyway things are good here! We are starting to really settle into our apartment and one of the other Americans on the team has a fiancé and a precious baby girl! I love having them around and I'm so grateful we are all here together!

For my first post of the new year, I'd like to write a little bit about some goals I have. I like to make goals often but theres something extra exciting about a new year! I have BIG dreams for 2016! Here are some goals and intentions I have for the new year:
  • Fight for the blessings God has for me.
  • Chase adventure.
  • Dig deeper into the Bible. 
  • Continue learning & improving & applying what I learn. 
  • Exercise daily. 
  • Start blogging again. 
  • Love my husband better. 
  • Budget & become better stewards. 
  • Improve my time management. 
  • Love more. 
  • Practice Patience. 
  • Work my business consistently.
  • Cook more.
Of course there are many things I want to improve, but these are a few of the ones on my heart. Hope everyone had a wonderful NYE & Happy New Year!!! :) May 2016 bring lots of blessings and adventure! 


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fearless Strength

Happy October everyone!! :) Fall is here -even though in Texas its still in the high 80s- and its time for pumpkin everything! I wanted to write a post to just update y'all on the rest of our summer and whats been going on with us!

This summer has been a crazy one! There's been a lot of changes going on... some hard and some great! The fear of the unknown has been a little overwhelming this summer. As we sit and wait to see whats next in basketball and in life, the only thing that keeps me grounded and assured is drawing near to God. I know He has a plan and that His thoughts and ways are far better than mine. We are believing in His promises to give us a hope and a future!

Since our time at home has been longer than expected, I began looking for job options. Currently I'm in the process of getting my alternative certification for teaching in Texas. Since I was teaching overseas and loved it, I thought this would be a great option for the future. I could also substitute teach if our time home overlapped with the school year (like its doing now). While all of thats great for when we're home, I've been searching for something since the beginning that I could do from anywhere.

This summer I got added to a group of basketball wives on Facebook. Its great to have a group of women all in similar circumstances that I can relate to. There is also Bible studies, prayer groups and other things like that we do together. I met a wife in a similar circumstance as me and we ended up having a lot in common. We became friends quickly and I began to see some of her posts talking about being her own boss and having the freedom to build her business wherever she goes. I immediately was interested, yet hesitant thinking it could be some kind of scheme because it just sounded too good to be true. She informed be about how she was a fitness coach and how she basically helped people reach their health and fitness goals by encouraging, inspiring and giving them the resources they need. After about a month of questions, research and skepticism I decided to go all in and join the team. I mean I really had nothing to lose!

I have started a new business called Fearless Strength Fitness!! I am extremely excited and have high hopes for this! I have joined the amazing Beach Body team with great hopes of helping people create and establish healthy balanced lifestyles! 

Who is the company behind the Coach Business Opportunity?  Beachbody is a successful 10-year old, 250+million corporation based out of Southern California. They create and sell the nation's most popular in-house fitness & weight-loss products. High quality, well manufactured DVD workout programs, gear, and nutritional supplement that have proven to work.

What are my goals? My goal is simply to help others! I will implement Beachbody products with challenge/accountability groups that will help keep people inspired and motivated! As an athlete, I understand the greatest motivation can be accountability within a team. Therefore, we create a team and community that encourages one another, supports one another, and achieves goals together! Another goal of mine is to create a strong team of coaches within Fearless Strength Fitness. This team of coaches will be personally mentored by myself on how to create their own business & help others. Long term, I am hoping and praying for lives to be changed for the better, for healthy living to become a movement and for people find their inner strength. 

How can you partner with me? Since this is a brand new business, I need your help in a few ways! 
>>First of all, I would love some prayers. Please pray for me to go about this business the way God would want me to, for me to constantly seek His guidance, and for the main focus to be on Him. 
>>Second, if you have and friends or family that might be interested please refer them to me! Here are my social media links: Facebook Like PageMy Coaching Website, Instagram & my email is []. I will be posting updates, motivation, recipes, and health & fitness tips! 
>>Third, if you are inspired to change your life- please email me! I really want to help anyone and everyone no matter where you are on your fitness journey! 
>>Fourth, if you are an individual who has a desire to help yourself and others, and you're interested in learning more about the possibility of becoming a coach yourself- please email me!

I have already been SO blessed with this opportunity and I am so excited to share it with others! Thank you friends and family and all who have been so supportive thus far! I am so excited to see what God has planned for Fearless Strength Fitness!! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Amalfi Coast Travel Tips


getting there

- Choosing the best way to get there from Ravenna was a bit of a challenge. Ravenna is in the North-Eastern side of Italy about 2 hours south of Venice. If you are coming from a different area in Italy, then this might not be the best rout for you! I researched and asked a lot of questions and finally decided to choose the least expensive route. This route started with a train ride into Naples then taking the Cicumvesuvian train to Sorrento and lastly the SITA bus into Praiano, where we decided to stay. The Circumvesuvian is more of a metro feel even though most is above ground. Its very narrow and crowded; if you have luggage its a hassle. Also, it's a known spot for pick pocketing so you really can't relax and need to be watchful of your belongings. The SITA bus is a really amazing view and great way to get around the coast but once again if you have luggage this can be a hassle because they can get a bit crowded. Basically we were so happy and relieved to get to our hotel with our luggage... it was an exhausting journey. Although I was happy to have saved some money and be resourceful, my husband kindly told me that we would be getting home a little different. We decided to take a private driver from our hotel back to the Naples train station on the way home. It was $100 total, which was $20 more than a taxi, and it was a lot nicer, faster and more comfortable. We decided it was worth it. Just to compare price the Circumvesuvian and SITA bus probably only cost us about 20-25 euro total for us both. 

where we stayed 

- We stayed in Villa Maria Pia which was a great hotel. We had beautiful views, a bus stop right outside our hotel, and a very informative helpful staff. There was one American working there who was dating an Italian who worked there and being able to talk to them both about their opinions on where to eat or what to do was really nice.
Our cute little hotel, Villa MariaPia.

favorite things to do 

- Praiano- We loved walking around and visiting the small beaches! Its quaint and not crowed so its perfect for a stroll!

- Positano- hanging out at the beach and shopping! Probably the best shopping we saw on the coast and the most famous beach spots!

- Boat tour of Capri or Amalfi Coast! Blue Star Boat Tours was amazing! We booked the Capri small group tour which was 60 euro per person and it included snacks, water, soft drinks, beer and some limoncello! There were a total of 12 people on the boat and we didn't feel crowded at all. The tour included stoping at: Tiberios Jump, the natural arch, the white grotto, the grotto of wonders, Villa Malaparte, the Faraglioni Rocks, Marina Piccola, the green grotto, Punta Carena – Lighthouse of Capri Island, Blue Grotto, and Marina Grande.

- Chair lift to the top of Mount Solaro on the island of Capri in Anacapri! It was about 10 euro per person round trip and worth it! 

- Blue grotto. Even though its 13 euro per person (+tip), it is absolutely worth seeing. Ignore any of the negative aspect and just enjoy while your inside! 

- Swimming in a grotto off the coast somewhere! I loved being able to swim off the coast of Capri and even though it was cold I loved grabbing some snorkeling stuff off the boat and exploring a little under the water! 

- Limoncello... the Amalfi Coast is known to have the best. Its so amazing, especially if you like lemon! 

- Duomo in Amalfi Town. 

- In Ravello make sure to visit Villa Cimbrione and Villa Rufolo. (entrance was about 5-7 euro per person)

- Walk around, get lost, drink wine, eat great food, soak up the surrounding beauty and explore! These towns have amazing trails like the Trail of the Gods that are wonderful to just wander off and see where you end up!

great places to eat

Vivaro Wine Bar in Praiano- There is no menu and the owner cooks whatever is fresh that he has that day. Pick your dish... past, chicken, fish, beef and he does the rest!  We ate here twice we loved it so much!

- On the beach in Positano, there were a handful of highly rated sandwich shops. I would suggest asking a local which one to try and then grab it and eat on the beach!

- Pulalli Wine Bar on Capri- If there are two of you ask for the balcony with the view! Make sure to have some famous caprese salad! 

- Babel Wine Bar Deli & Art in Ravello- Great bruschetta and salads. If you want something light and delicious this it the spot! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Amalfi Coast & Capri

After a long season, we were so excited to have one last getaway in Italy before heading back to the USA. One of the places I had dreamed about going in Italy was the Amalfi Coast, and I couldn't wait to check this destination off my bucket list!

We had debated a lot over which city we wanted to stay in and it came down to Positano and Praiano. We had some friends who recommended Praiano for a nice quiet town that's also a great location to visit all the other towns. Positano speaks for itself because its probably the most famous and busy. We decided we wanted a more peaceful getaway so we chose Praiano as our base. This worked well for us because there happened to be a TON of study abroad college kids staying in Positano and we were happy to retreat away from all the crazy. Although when we were hanging out on the beach in Positano, we did get a good laugh watching the college kids act a fool. It was a little embarrassing... but I know we can't judge too much. We were all young and stupid at some point! Anyway,  Praiano was a great choice for us and we really enjoyed our stay!

The next city we explored was Positano and it was even more breathtaking than I'd imagined. This place is a dream. The shopping, the beaches.... I mean its just amazing. We really enjoyed walking around, shopping and grabbing sandwiches and drinks to have a picnic on the beach. It will be hard for us to be this impressed with a view again... I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!


Positano... one of my most favorite pictures ever!
The next day we booked a boat tour to Capri and it was definitely our favorite day. We booked the Capri small group tour with Blue Star which was 60 euro per person and it included snacks, water, soft drinks, beer and some limoncello! There were a total of 12 people on the boat and we didn't feel crowded at all. The tour included stoping at a lot of really amazing places and we absolutely loved it. The boat, 'That's Amore,' was nice and our Captain was really knowledgeable about the area. I was in awe the whole time. Everywhere we went was so beautiful. We debated on doing the blue grotto because of how much of a business its become. We've heard about people getting a rude rowboat guy that just constantly asks for a tip, but I think its worth the risk. Our guy was pretty good and told us a little about the history of the grotto and took some pictures of us. It's one of those things you have to see at least once even if it means you have a greedy dude asking for a tip... just ignore it and enjoy the beauty. 

When we arrived on Capri the Captain advised a plan to get as much done in our 4 hours on shore as we could. We decided not to waste time waiting for the public transportation and just took a 15euro taxi to the top of Anacapri. Once in Anacapri, we took the chair lift for 10euro roundtrip to the top of Mount Solaro. Definitely a must see while in Capri. It's the highest point with an amazing panoramic view. We walked around Anacapri a little and then decided to head back to the town of Capri. We checked tripadvisor for a lunch spot and hit the jackpot. We walked up the steps into a cute little wine bar and they offered us a two top on the balcony. When we walked on the balcony we were amazed by our view. I'm still not sure how we got so lucky. It was the best spot we could have picked for lunch.

On the way back to Positano, we were able to stop and swim in one of the grottos. Mike wasn't too keen since the water was still fairly cold in April but I went ahead and jumped in. Okay, it was actually freezing but I still had a great time! We would love to go back when its warmer so we could swim and explore more (and be able to feel... my whole body went numb after about 60 seconds).

Heading out on 'That's Amore'

The Faraglioni Rocks

Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto
Marina Grande, Capri
Chair lift to Mount Solaro.
View from the top of Mount Solaro.
View from the top of Mount Solaro.
View from the top of Mount Solaro.
Driving from Anacapri to Capri. 

On our last full day we decided to visit Amalfi town and Ravello! We hopped on the SITA bus and just went from one town to the next. Once again the ride on the bus is just crazy! The small winding roads, crazy drivers and breathtaking views will leave you a little bewildered. We passed the town of Furore which is picture perfect. If we would have had more time I would have loved to stop and walk around to take pictures. Amalfi was great but it was a little more crowded than some of the other places. We really enjoyed Ravello but walking around involves a lot of stairs! The views from Ravello were great especially from Villa Cimbrone. We didn't have the time to go to Villa Rufolo but I've heard its pretty amazing as well. While in Ravello we stopped for wine and lunch at a great little spot to catch our breath and soak it all up!

Amalfi Town 

Duomo di Amalfi. 
Drive up to Ravello from Amalfi Town.
Villa Cimbrone
Villa Cimbrone
Villa Cimbrone 
Villa Cimbrone

We could not have asked for a better vacation to wrap up the season! It was romantic, beautiful, sunny and full of awesome beaches, boats, great food, and smooth wine... I honestly can't say enough good things about the Amalfi Coast. This is a place we definitely hope to return to!

If your planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast or even dreaming of planning one read Amalfi Coast Travel Tips! I'll be posting a condensed guide with tips for this beautiful place!

Linking up for Travel Tuesday!
Check out our other Travels here!