So I Spent a Weekend in L.A.

And I loved it.

Having never been before, I envisioned it as a clash of classy Beverly Hills living, Rodeo Drive shopping millionaires and semi-trashy club goers reminiscent of the crowd Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman would have frequented with.

I wasn’t entirely wrong. I was, however, spoiled in my stay.

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Why Havasu Falls Needs to be on Your Bucket List

Hiking to and staying 3 nights at Havasu Falls was hands down the most incredible thing I’ve ever done. I went with a group of complete strangers (read: Meetup) and I couldn’t have imagined going with a more compatible group of people. Everyone was friendly and down-to-earth, and willing to help anyone in need. Almost everyone who came were first-timers (myself included), and it was amazing to see people from different stages of life have a common ground in sharing that experience.

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The Best Candle I’ve Ever Lit

Correct me if I’m wrong. If you’re an average candle lover, you select candles purely based on the scent you like. That’s what I’ve always done. Until I came across Milkhouse Candles.

I’ll be honest, I started following their blog for the drinks. Each week, their brilliant mixologist creates a recipe inspired by one of their candle scents. I have yet to actually make one, but with recipes like salted apple cider bourbon caramel sauce, that will change soon.

Enough about my obsession with food—back to the candles. Milkhouse is a client of the company I work for (this post isn’t biased, I swear…), and our video team recently flew to Iowa to do a customer story shoot on them. After they returned, Milkhouse sent our entire team a box of candles as a thank you. They sent us a variety of scents. Each one smelled incredibly authentic and had just the right amount of potency.

I snatched up Eucalyptus Lavender. Which is by far the most incredible candle I’ve ever smelled. It’s beautiful and clean and refreshing. The scent nicely fills the entire room, and I even get whiffs of it when it’s not lit—what a bonus.

But, what I truly found most distinct about their candles is how sustainable they are. All beeswax and soy (from local farmers), no artificial coloring (go home, yellow #5), 100% recyclable glass containers (Pinterest lovers will have a field day), and no lead in the wicks. Plus, Milkhouse has that wholesome, family-oriented Midwest vibe going on. (That I might be biased about, having grown up in Indiana.)

So, if you’re looking for a candle you can feel good about burning and a company you can feel good about supporting, you might want to check out Milkhouse (I might be a bit of a fan now).

Happy burning, my friends.

Why Hiking Camelback Mountain is so Rewarding

On this morning’s hike, we ran into a man on his first trip to Phoenix. He was only here for a few days and his flight out of Phoenix was to leave in three hours. The man was hiking a mountain hours before he had to be on a plane.

Hiking Camelback is the Valley of the Sun’s version of visiting the Statue of Liberty. Or the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s one of the first things tourists and transfers check off their Phoenix to-do list (and, unfortunately, something many natives never get around to).

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3 Ways to Use Overripe Bananas

Being over $20,000 in debt, I’m not one to let food go bad. If it’s on it’s way out, it either goes in the freezer or gets eaten that day. Bananas are especially easy to use because they’re so versatile. I typically make the following three foods using overripe bananas, but I’m sure you can find many more uses for them.

  1. Banana bread–overripe bananas are the perfect consistency for making banana bread. They’re easy to mush and mix in with the batter. Plus, they have a stronger flavor that makes your bread that much more tasty.
  2. Flourless banana pancakes–mash some with a couple of eggs, a teaspoon of baking powder, and a dash of vanilla—and voila! Banana pancakes. (After you fry, butter, and lather them in syrup, of course.)
  3. Smoothies–hello, banana flavor. Overripe bananas in a smoothie taste so much better than ripe bananas. Simply because they have the stronger banana flavor.

And there you go. You’re welcome for saving you 56 cents.