Honduras Itinerary

Hello Sunshines!

I hope you all had fabulous weekends! I am in amazing Honduras right now and wrote this scheduled post last week.

We are living pretty loose in Honduras for the next two weeks with almost no schedule set in stone.

Arrive in San Pedro Sula around noon.

San Pedro Sula is the second largest city in Honduras.

Take a bus to La Ceiba where we will spend the night.

Wake up early and take a ferry to Utila. An island where we will scuba, snorkel, kayak and generally laze around.

Scuba... scuba... scuba... beach... beach.... beach... hammock.... hammock.... hammock... rum... rum... rum...

You get the idea!

Move on? I'm sure we will be very very very VERY tempted to just lay on the beach a little more!

If we do move on we will be headed (by bus) to Western or maybe Eastern (ha!) Honduras for several days of intensive hiking and wandering through villages.

Hiking and exploring villages

Back at the beach! The way the bus routes work out we have to head back through the same beach area-- so, why not? Another day laying on the beach!

Return to San Pedro Sula to get ready for our very early flight on Sunday morning

7:20 am INTERNATIONAL flight-- that means we have to arrive at 5:20 AM.

5:20 AM?

No, seriously, flying early in the morning makes me extra air sick and a little vomity.... And I always look extra sexy when I wake up early in the mornings. Chris is a lucky lucky man!

8 hour layover in Miami. Whooop. We'll be sleeping and hitting the local Chili's too.

9 pm- return to Chicago. Home sweet home!


9 am- Chris leaves to fly to Minnesota for work and I am all by my lonesome again (my life is so hard. sigh.).

I can't wait to share pictures and stories when I return! Can you even imagine how many posts I'm going to have in my reader? Ack! I'll be reading your posts for weeks trying to catch up!



Bags are packed... passports are ready... goodbyes have been said...


Adios y'all!


I have some post scheduled just to keep you entertained during my absence. You wouldn't know what to do without me I'm sure!

Another one down... only 99 more to go

Hello sweet loves! I have very exciting news!

I have finally checked an item off my life list!

19. Work on conquering my fear/phobia of needles to the point where I can get a shot without being slightly hysterical

Woohooo! I had to get a shot this morning and I didn't shed a single tear!

I'm such a big girl at 24!

Here are the next 10 on my list!

51. Have the courage to cut my hair super short (inches from my scalp).
52. Try to go 2 months without eating meat (if not longer!).
53. Go spear fishing.
54. Have a garden.
55. See the Great Barrier Reef.
56. Cut down my own Christmas tree.
57. Learn how to use the weigh machines at the gym.
58. Sew a dress that looks like I could have bought it at a store.
59. Hold a koala.
60. Learn how to make a perfect souffle.

Chris and I leave for Honduras tomorrow! I am so very very very very excited to go on a two-week vacation with my love.

Don't worry. I have some tricks up my sleeve so that you miss me too much!

One day until the weekend! STAY STRONG! WE CAN MAKE IT!


Good morning!

Today is the day that I know you have all been so anxiously awaiting!


I used random.org to generate the winning number

Then started counting.....

Then started laughing...

Dearest Stephanie, my college best friend, you are the winner!

I like to think of it as blog karma for all of the amazing internet support you give me!

Thank you all for entering! Feel free to unfollow if you don't like my particular brand of randomness!


Monday Monday

don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $60 gift certificate!

Happy Monday love bugs!

I hope you had amazing weekends. I had a great time in Oklahoma. I am in fact still here enjoying the amazing warm weather.

We did a ton of yard work in Chris' mom's yard and I took lots of pictures but once again my computer won't upload the photos. Think that my camera has just started to refuse to upload on Mondays? It too has a case of the Mondays?

I'll try to get those pictures soon! sigh.


The big winner for my giveaway will be announced tomorrow! Will it be you? It's not too late to enter!

ants in ma pants

don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $60 gift certificate!

It's FRIIIIIDAAAAYYYY! Imagine that I'm Oprah and now re-read that- because I totally wrote it using my Oprah voice. No one else know what I'm talking about. Okay. Good.

Anyhow. It's FRIIIIIIIDAAAAYYY! I am so excited for the weekend because that means it's only one more week until my sweet boyfriend and I take our passports and our backpacks to HONDURAS!

This weekend we're headed to Oklahoma to see Chris' littlest brother graduate from high school, celebrate mother's day with Chris' mom, and eat little hot dogs from Coney Islander. Don't worry. I'll be taking lots of pictures to share with you!

I hope each of you have a spectacularly sparkly weekend!


**picture from here and ermm I got not fancy linky for the comic.

Hair Crisis 2010-- RESOLVED

don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $60 gift certificate!

Way back in February I was having a bit of a hair crisis. Darker? Lighter? Short? Long? And omg WHY do I have the driest most tangle-able hair EVER? I discussed it here and then left you guys without an update leaving you to think I was running around Chicago looking like one hot tangled un-blowdryed mess.

(AHHhh! Someone get me some makeup a hair straightener!)

But then like a week after this picture was taken I got new hair. Wooohoo!
(bahhh ha ha. I kind of wish this was my hair!)

(Here I really am!)

It's grown out some and lightened up a bit. Some maybe it's time to get another round of color.

Living in a city that is notoriously dry in the winters definitely wrecked shop on my long hair. Combine the lack of humidity with crazy wind and constant scarf wearing and I was worried that I was going to have to go back to a bob simply because I couldn't handle the constant tangles. But both the colorist and the cutter (stylist? what is this word?) recommended Moroccan Oil which has been a hair saver!

(Moroccan Oil- The oil is made out of fresh squeezed Moroccans)

It's a little pricey at $39 for 1.7 ounces but it lasts forever. I've used the recommended pea sized amount almost every day since February and am only one third of the way through the bottle.

Seriously, if you have dry or easily breakable hair this stuff is amazing!

One day until the weekend! We can make it!

don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $60 gift certificate!

Do you ever wake up first thing in the morning with a song in your head? The second you open you eyes you have your own inner soundtrack playing? Except the song doesn't go away the entire day?

Well, welcome to the most annoying song to be stuck in your head all day:

"Scrubs... I don't want no scrub
A scrub is a guy
hangin' out the passenger side of his best friend's ride
tryin' to holler at me
A scrub is a guy who ain't going to get no love from me

something scrub.... scrub scrub scrub... scrubby scrubby scrub..."

-by TLC or Destiny's Child or someone else rocking in the scrub-hatred in the '90

So... as you read this post imagine me writing it in my PJs watching Glee randomly humming

LOOK LOOK LOOK! My first giveaway! Whoop!

***edit-- this giveaway is now closed. Stephanie from Le Sigh of a Fashionista was the winner!***

Happy Tuesday sunshines!

I'm hosting my own giveaway today! My very first! CSN contacted me to give away one $60 gift certificate to one of their many many stores. CSN has over 200 stores ranging from housewares, tv stands, furniture, and a TON more.

What will you choose with your $60 surprise?

New throw pillows to spice up your sofa?

A fabulous outdoor rug?

If it was me I would probably snap up this gorgeous pot by Le Creuset (or any of their other amazing stuff!).

But the best part is that you can choose whatever your heart (or your house) desires! Now that I'm thinking about it maybe I can arrange a way for me to win because I want all of those things! I kid! I kid!


First Entry
Become (or already be be!) a follower (over to the right) of my blog!

Second Entry
Tweet about the giveaway! www.twitter.com/mertravels

Third Entry
Blog about the giveaway!

Leave a comment with each entry!

Hip hip hurray for presents! I'll be declaring a winner next Tuesday!


Ever have one of those days where strange thing just happen over and over again? You think you're prepared but then the next thing you know you're talking with a stranger about the merits of having a pygmy goat verses a fainting goat.

So. On to the things that were normal splashed with a little randomness in the middle.

USUAL- Farmer's Market
Chris and I headed over to the outdoor (whoop! no more snow!) Chicago Green Market. We got there around 11:30 and everything was a little picked over and a lot of the farmers (?) were sold out and shutting down. But, we did snag some amazing asparagus and a pound of rhubarb. I'm not even exactly sure what rhubarb is (red celery that is sweet?) but I'll be cooking it up tonight! We also bought some homemade goat cheese that I didn't take a picture of and have yet to eat. How could I ever have forgotten about the cheese? Now my mouth is watering thinking about cheese.

UNUSUAL- Civil War Era Baseball game

When walking home we encountered a baseball game between the Chicago Salmon and the Milwaukee Dutchmen. They play in costume with baseball rules from 1858. The rules were a little different but if are really interested check out the Vintage Baseball Association's website.

On a side note can we talk about how effing hard it is to spell Milwaukee?

UNUSUAL (or maybe this is a little too usual)- I'm creepy

I am so weird. I secretly took this photo of this adorable little boy and his dad who were watching the game next to us. And I love the picture. LOVE it. But I'm still totally bizarre for doing it.... and then telling the entire internet (because obvi everyone on the interwebs reads my blog).

USUAL- Bar (eh, it has a name but I have no idea what it is)

Chris and I went out and had a pint of Stiegel. Last fall, when we were in Salzburg Chris, Eddie, Allan and I went to the Steigel restaurant and then rode bikes to the brewery and had an amazing day. So drinking a Steigel always makes me a little nostalgic for an amazing adventure in Austria and Germany with my favorite boys.

(Can you beat this view in Salzburg? Or that giant stein?)

UNUSUAL- randos at the bar
Chris and I totally got tricked by this guy who was "taking IDs" at the door. He totally looked like he worked there but as I was digging deep through my purse for my wallet we found out he was just creeping by the door asking for people's IDs. He thought it was hiiiillllariooous. It does give me a giggle too.

For the rest of the weekend when I didn't take picture of we rode bikes, went to great restaurants (with incredibly cheap and delicious oysters!), went to the pee-yourself-it's-so-funny Second City, and just had an all over great time. I'll have to tell you more later!

AND AND AND! Giveaway announced tomorrow!! WOOOHOOOO!

keep it random,

I've been cheatin...

Whoop whoop! It's Friday my loves!

Chris has been working super hard and so we are both incredibly excited for the weekend! We don't have any plans but to relax, play board games, and hang out. We might be really adventurous and wander down to our local farmer's market or play some frisbee in the park.

So on to my confession. I've been cheating on working out. The last 3 days I've done nothing more than a little bit of walking. I know! It's so shameful! I've been fighting a nasty cold which turned into laryngitis and I've just didn't feel like working out. Naughty naughty!

But I did think it was hilarious to tell Chris that I was seeing a man named Lary N. Gitus. I crack myself up...

But today is a fresh start! I'm headed to the gym to log some time on the treadmill and elliptical and Chris and I are going to play some tennis tonight.

I hope you all have amazing and relaxing weekends!


And get excited because I have a giveaway coming up next week!

photos photos photos!

Remember when I was having a hard time loading pictures this weekend? Well.... I tried it again and it just magically started working! I literally did the exact same thing today as I did on Monday but with totally different results.

"Insanity is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

But in yo face. I totally did the same thing over and over again and got different results.

I wore one of my favorite pairs of flats to the airport and they made me happy while we had to wait for our flight that was delayed for 3 hours.
(Wearing pants at the airport made me happy too....)

We we finally landed at the airport at 12:30 we still had to pick up our luggage, get our rental car, and drive an hour and a half home. So a trip to the most delicious late night fast food place EVER was desperately needed. Cook Out is ammmazzzing. Especially when you are arriving at home at 3 am.

Seriously, if you are ever randomly find yourself in North Carolina late at night and are hungry you must track down a Cook Out and check out the huge (and unhealthy) menu. The entire right side (partially hidden by the car) is milk shake flavors.

(I would like to suggest the chopped pork barbecue sami topped with ketchup and hot sauce)

To combat the high calorie unhealthy eating we did late night we played tennis both Saturday, Sunday, and I played Monday too.

(that's my Mom hamming it up for the camera)

Saturday night my Mom, Chris and I went to a minor league baseball game. The hometeam won with 16 runs to 13. We drank beers, sang take me out to the ball game, took a 7th inning strech and had a great time.

While this is a pretty terrible photo of me, I wanted to show you Chris. I would say that about half of all of the photos we have together he is making some sort of ridiculous face (this time completely out of focus). Maybe I should make a giant collage of the many faces of my darling boyfriend?
(This one says to me: "Come here often pretty lady?")

On Sunday Chris and I made a delicious Mother's Day lunch of raw oysters, little salads and two kinds of homemade ceviche: salmon, tomato, mango, and avocado ceviche, and ceviche with tuna, cucumbers, wasabi, and more avocado!

(I'll have to post the recipe another day!)

We're back in Chicago now (after yet another delayed flight last night!) and are excited for a relaxing weekend together.

Only 1 day until the weekend! Any big plans?



Hello beautifuls! (Did you know beautifuls is not a word according to spell check? pffft. totally is)

I had an A-MAZE-ING weekend at home in gorgeous North Carolina. I took almost 100 pictures but then my Mac is being a bit of a biotch and won't let me load them. I try to load them the exact same way I ALWAYS load them but then it says they are invalid file types. Sigh. Sometimes technology is such a pain in the ass.

But, que sera sera, since I can't share picture from this weekend in North Carolina I thought I would share some from Easter weekend in NC.

This is one of my all time favorite recipes and is so easy to make and looks very impressive!

Tomato Tart
(Adapted from Martha Stewart and Food Network to meet my laziness)

And please be aware that I almost never measure things exactly. I just throw it together and do a few taste tests to make sure it's okay! So these measurements are approximate because you know cups and teaspoons are more uniform than a handful or 6 dashes and a wiggle.


  • 1 store-bought or homemade dough for tart shell (I make my own in a food processor)
  • 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (shell out the extra money for the nice stuff it will be worth it!)
  • 4 ounces grates Aziago or Fontina Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 to 6 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven: 400 degrees F. Line loose bottom tart pan with dough rolled out 1/8-inch thick (I just smoosh it into the pie pan with my fingers because OMG rolling out dough is messssssy) Mix together all ingredients. Add mixed ingredients to pie shell, arranging to cover as evenly as possible. Bake 20 to 30 minutes. When crust is golden and the tomatoes are delicious looking, remove. Garnish with fresh basil. Slice in wedges and serve warm.

I am warning you now that it's very very hard to only eat one slice of this pie!

I'm still in NC tonight but headed back to Chicago tomorrow evening. I"ll try to get those picture uploaded soon. And if not I'm headed to apple store to get a little genius helping!

3 days until the weekend! We can make it!



Happy Friday!

Have a great weekend y'all! See you on Monday to tell you all about my Mother's Day Weekend filled with minor league baseball games, tennis matches, and homemade ceviche!


Favorite Photos: Turkey

Lifetime List:41-50

This is kind of hard y'all!

I don't want to put something on the list that I could just easily do like "write a letter to my congressman" I could do that right now. I just never have, but I totally could do it right now. Or since we've lived in Chicago I've been wanting to go see a taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Should that be on my life list simply because I haven't gotten my crap together to buy tickets? I'm not sure that it's worthy!

I have been deciding what goes on my life list by choosing things that I want to do that are semi-feasible but still super challenging.

With that said here are my next thing things to-do before I'm 100!

41. Live in a foreign country
42. Play tennis at a 4.0 level (right now I'm a measly 2.75)
43. Learn the names of the constellations
44. Beat my Mom at Scrabble (never. going. to happen.)
45. Start a compost pile
46. Buy a gorgeous piece of stained glass
47. Learn how to be a good haggler
48. Wear a two-piece with ease again
49. Be an extra in a movie
50. Learn how to play chess

Now I have to go to the gym. BOO. Maybe since I am one fourth of the way there I should cheat and go ahead and put work out for 30 consecutive day on my life list?

Think I'll ever really like going to the gym? I don't mind it once I'm there but the process of going is sooooooooooo painful!

Maybe I'll put on my swimsuit... that will be motivation!
Hello Sunshines!

I hope you are all having wonderful days! I've gone an entire week with working out every day! I know I'm tooting my own horn here but I'm really excited! I don't think I've gone 7 straight day with working out since.... ever. Tonight I'm headed to a tennis class/lesson/thing and I'm really excited to make it 8 days!!

And mostly, I've been eating fairly well. Last night I slipped up after the gym and at 2 bowls of black beans and rice. It was literally the only food in the house and I was hunnnngry. And let's not even talk about Saturday night when I ate not one but TWO hot dogs for dinner. BARF. I don't even really like hotdogs.

Now on to the pictures! Here's my all time favorite picnic lunch with my all time favorite frisbee partner and boyfriend:
We call it Mediterranean Dinner no matter what time of day or where we are eating it. It's a delicious combo of whole wheat pita; homemade hummus; roasted squash, zucchini, and tomatoes; olives; and feta!

Don't forget-- Mother's Day is this weekend. Make a call, a card, and an effort; Momma's need some love too! I got a pressy for my mom from Blu at her Etsy store. Chris and I are heading to North Carolina this weekend to hang out with my mom and I'm hoping that the Dogwoods are still blooming. It's maybe a pipe dream but a girl can hope right?

Have a wonderful day filled with phone calls to best friends (this means you D, C, M I'm calling all you girls tonight!), free ice cream from Ben and Jerry's, and beautiful weather!

High fives Top Gun style,