What am I thankful for?
The wanderlust that my grandparents and parents instilled in me, the job that affords me to do so, and the people who accompany me along the way. I've been sang happy birthday to by a Virgin Islander taxi driver, snorkeled the great barrier reef, rode horses along the beaches of the Dominican, snowboarded in Park City, cliff dove in Jamaica, swam with the dolphins in Mexico, snuggled a koala in Australia, shared bubble gum with an ape in Cancun, para-sailed a handful of the prettiest coastlines across the Caribbean, and met some of the most awesome people, hands down.

I can’t wait to see what adventures my passport and I stumble upon next!



Good ol' Southern (hemisphere) Hospitality

One of the first, and most enduring, things I noticed about Australia was the genuine kindness everyone seemed to possess.

From the moment we stepped foot onto our Qantas flight in LAX until those last lingering moments as we hit US soil ten days later it was true Southern Hospitality. Southern Hemisphere that is!

We continuously laughed about one of the flights, in which the "please stow away all electronics and prepare for landing" recording was played, and the flight attendant walked by smiling to us, with a "oh finish your page love, no hurry!"

There was never any annoyance as we fumbled through their coins trying to distinguish between the two dollar coin and the ten cent coin, every ticket station worker smiled and directed us to the correct platform, random people would chime in as we stared blankly at a bus map telling us where to hop off and even offering suggestions for places to visit, waitresses kindly explained the steered us from ordering "entrees" which are more like 'small plates' so we wouldn't be disappointed in tiny portions, random cafe owners would give us the wifi passwords so we could communicate with everyone back home.

Everyone loved to hear where we were from, why we came there, where we were headed, what we thought so far.

There was never a favor too big, a question too dumb, or an unworthy comment. And believe me, this says a lot! I've traveled a handful of places where you just felt like an annoyance.

Being from the midwest we often get praised from visitors as being so kind, for once I finally understood what they meant. The impact it had on is was resounding. I've never felt more welcomed into any place in my life!



My clock says it's 8:30 Monday morning... my body says it's 11:30 Monday night.

Against all speculation, I actually did return from Australia. Believe me, it took a lot of talking into to not accidentally miss my flight home.

My mind is on auto-pilot today as I stare blankly at my computer screen at work. I'm here... what more do you want from me?!


At least I didn't bring my waffle iron.

Hi, my name is Chelsea and I am a recovering overpacker addict.

Not exaggerating, I would take a different swimsuit for every day we would be on the beach. Every day.

Half of my shoes closet? PACK IT!

Three varieties of perfume? PACK THEM!

Ping pong balls, Catch Phrase, snorkeling masks, football? Yes. Yes. Yes. All of the above!

In my defense, my mother is the woman who took a waffle iron to Florida. I get it honestly people.

Until I realized, lugging around that 60lb suitcase is a pain, paying the Overweight Luggage fee every trip is frustrating, and waiting for the very last bag to drop onto the baggage claim (I swear the unloaders do it on purpose, to punish me for giving them hernias) was annoying.

I present to you, my friends, eleven days worth of vacationy goodness, IN. A. CARRY ON.

Go ahead and bow down to my greatness.


How to afford to eat in Australia.

From the moment we booked our flights back in January, everyone felt it imperative to tell me HOW. FREAKIN. EXPENSIVE. EVERYTHING. IS. IN. AUSTRALIA.


So I threw $60 into a mason jar and stuck it on top of my fridge where I wouldn't see it (and spend it).

Atleast I'd be able to buy a few McDonalds cheeseburgers to tide me over for ten days down under.

And then someone paid me in cash for a concert ticket, so I stuck that in the jar.

And then I found $4 in the dryer so I stuck that in the jar too.

And the best part was that it wasn't in my bank account, so I never got to see how much was there, and I never got that 'well if I just transfer this hundred dollars to buy some clothes I will be fine' urge. Out of sight and out of mind, I never took from the jar, just added to it.

Ten months of throwing any cash I happened upon into a jar, and it actually began to look substantial.

Last week I dumped it all out on my living room floor to count it.

And kept counting. And kept counting. And I had about three times what I anticipated would be shoved into that jar.

Heck, I might even be able to value size my fries now!



Oh how things change.

It was our first semester as freshman in college, one of my best girlfriends and I logged a LOT of hours at the local Barnes & Noble. Counltess nights were spent sitting in the Starbucks with our triple grande white mocha, sub 2 pumps raz (see... I can throw down at 'bux if I HAVE to)- it was our chance to catch up on magazines, girl talk, and just hang out somewhere that wasn't our parents houses. (Woe is us, little 18 year old babies).

One night, sitting crosslegged and giggling over that months list in Glamour's "Hey, It's Ok..." section I spied someone approaching our table from the corner of my eye. I fidgeted, picking at my brown & pink vans as he introduced himself and apologized for interrupting. Rattled something off about how he studies there often, was attending the same college as us for pre-med, and then how we had caught his eye, and he proceeded to ask if he could give me his number, in hopes of taking me to dinner sometime.

Time out. 

I remember thinking to myself "IS THIS WHAT COLLEGE IS LIKE!?" 
You mean boys don't send their friends to ask your friends if you want to go out sometime (ahhem, I'm lookin at you high school)... they actually APPROACH you, shake your hand, carry on a conversation? WEIRD. SIGN ME UP.

(Because I know you will ask.... we went on a few dates and had a good time, but our schedules never quite meshed up, and newly collegiate Chelsea had minimal interest in committing to anyone in particular that early in the game.) 
The whole scenario came back to mind a few months ago, when I was approached, again, by a guy who's eye I had caught.

We were at a bar one evening, a whole mashup of random friends and strangers, he at one end of the table, me at the far other.

And my phone lit up.

Oh how things have changed.

It was a Twitter DM saying I was hot or something equally as charming. (sarcasm).

A twitter message. From the other. end. of. the. table.

Chivalry is dead. 



carpe the hell out of this diem

One of my girlfriends, whom I've known since middle school, did something totally awesome yesterday. She booked an "out of the blue" cruise with one of her other friends.

Let me give you a little insight, she is a wife to a military man, mama to a toddler,with another on the way. The fact that she up and gave her self the reprieve of a few days kicking back in the sun is AWESOME.

What's even more awesome is that she told me I was finally starting to rub off on her, after all these years. Which just made laugh at first, but I realized if there's one thing I do fairly well in this life, it's seizing the day. If you know me at all, you know spontaneity is my middle name, judging by my own fair share of spur of the moment trips in my lifetime.

To celebrate living life while you've got life left to live I'm offering up a discount code on one of my favorite 8x10 prints in my Etsy store -

Simply enter the coupon code SEIZEIT and receive free shipping on this print*! It's available in 12 different colors, but hurry - because I am only offering this steal for the next week, until I hop on a jet plane to the other side of the world!

(*Code is only valid for this print only!)


Ezekiels return

I've talked about Ezekiel on my blog before. So if you're on of my original followers you probably remember him. If not I'll catch you up...

Way way WAY back when I first started recognizing my headaches as migraines, and my doctor referred me to a neurologist I got all panicky assuming I had a brain tumor and clearly that was the only explanation for migraines that made me blind.

Thus, he was fondly named Ezekiel (because all terrible tumors MUST be named). Well, it was never a tumor (in retrospect, I've actually never had an imaging on my brain, so I guess it COULD be, but my neuro tells me it's not so let's just go with that) but it became a running joke, and any time I had a pain anywhere in my body we would contribute it to Ezekiel, the traveling tumor.

Lo and behold, shortly after they operated on my lung, I started having this ridiculous pain under my left rib cage at the bottom, the complete OPPOSITE side as my right lung that had popped.

Zeke was back.

I ignored it, and contributed it to either a) my pain meds making me crazy (highly likely) or b) some weird nerve damage symptom.

Fast forward a few months and the gallbaby episode happened. And I asked my surgeon about the left-sided pain and he shrugged it of as some weird one-off pain that would go away once my gallbladder was removed (also on the right side of my body).

Have no fear, like a true friend, Zeke stuck around through the removal of the gallbaby and continues to keep me company on the regular.

I finally realized last week I had been dealing with this freak pain for somewhere near 6 months now, and it was probably not proper to crack jokes about it anymore but to perhaps actually have it looked into. Naturally, instead of consulting my doctor I whined about it to a friend of mine who is a doctor (he is also a friend I once dated, so I'd like to think he is more vested in my health because of that) and he didn't think the theory of Ezekiel was very funny, nor was the fact I had been ignoring the symptoms for six months, and gave me a LONG, detailed list of tests I should request be ran.


I'm off to the doctor today, to go over CT results from last Friday, and see what he thinks.  While I'd love to not have anything wrong, I would also find it incredibly hard to believe that nothing is causing this pain. Nothing other than a traveling tumor, of course.

Cheers to yet another doctors office chat. I'm beginning to think I spend more time bonding with my doctors than anyone I've dated in the past three years.


Sprucing up the entry way

Halloween was gross.

I don't know about your stomping grounds, but here in the good ol circle city it rained and rained and rained some more, and not the kind of light showers with pretty rainbows. Gross, gray rain. All of this to say I was grumpy. I left work at 5:02 and somehow found myself in the parking lot of the home improvement store 24 minutes later.

So I did what any normal 20-somethin does on Halloween -- purchased two quarts of paint and went home to do a little sprucing up. Only stopping to go meet my parents for some Mexican food.

What did I paint? My entry way!

When I first bought my house there was a built in bench opposite the coat closet in my front entry way. Well it looked fine, 1 out of every 97 people who came to my house actually used the front door, so it leaned more towards the 'worthless' end of the spectrum, and was ripped out within a week.

A little wall patching, a little paint, a TJ Maxx find done and done.

Until last week. I just kept thinking how boring it was. Not that anyone but me, the dog, and 1/97th of my visitors see it. But hey, who wants boring?

Entry way meet cobalt blue. Cobalt blue meet entry way. An hour later, me and my dog can now smile every time we pass through there!

TDC Before and After