Posted in My Royal Adventures

My Little Sisters – From The Little Sister

Is it really true? My little sisters have officially passed their crowns down.

I could never have told you what it would mean to have them be a part of my family for this year and every other year. Their mothers have become just like my own when it comes to people for a sympathetic ear for a rant, a hug when I need comforted or a laugh when I’m feeling down.

What was our year like?


It was enchilada’s at midnight in a random town…where we rode in the back of the pickup because there wasn’t room for all three of us in the front and, well, we stick together!

It was doing a fish rodeo, jeans rolled up, trying not to get our hats wet and then accidentally killing two fish with our grip because we didn’t want them to get away.

It was watching movies late at night, typically our Disney princess movies – when can we have a rodeo queen one???

It was our vehicles breaking down or a horse coming up lame and having to just laugh it off in exasperation as we put all our brains together to figure life out.

It was the littlest one telling us about the young man she liked, the one who carried her band instrument home from school.

It was doing the cha-cha slide at coronations together.

It was about how we had to take the same photo at every single event together.

It was about how our littlest sister had to show the rest of us how to model – she’s a professional, I’m serious!

It was about the middle one being the greatest teacher and having the most amazing patience when it comes to working with small children.

It was about the middle one learning to have her voice, speaking up for what it truly means to be a rodeo ambassador to her peers in a time of adversity – a moment that I will forever be SO ridiculously proud of her for!

It was about our group texts that went on WAAAYYY too late in the night while we all tried to suppress giggles so no one would knew that we were up!

It was about smuggling baked goods out while we were on our horses.

It was about running around like hooligans with the legendary sugar glider John Wayne the Rodeo Squirrel (you can find him on Instagram).

It was about pushing cows and packing flags, always knowing that, no matter what, we could always count on each other at rodeos.

It was about the middle child getting “attacked” by John Wayne because she had melted ice cream on her fingers.

It was about the youngest one always taking over our snapchats and snapchat filters with her ability to wiggle her ears.
It was about gaining two new families into my family.

It was about knowing that this year would never have been what it was without them.

I am thankful that God has given me an opportunity to be in the lives of these two girls; I would do absolutely anything for them!


Posted in #PleaseAllowMeToIntroduce, My Royal Adventures, Rodeo Queens

#PleaseAllowMeToIntroduce the 2016 & 2017 Miss NPRA’s

I think it’s such an interesting position that I am in. I never felt like I was a part of the rodeo queen world but I spent one year in the mix and then I was out. To this day, I have never felt like I belong. In light of the start of 2017, I felt like 2016 was a complete blur. Just a distant memory, something that may or may not have actually happened.

Then I went to the coronation of 2017 Miss NPRA Sam Henricks. Sam was the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo Queen last year, the first rodeo in my home state of Oregon. It wasn’t anything like what I had expected it to be. Here are two of my MANY memorable stories from that rodeo!

The Zika Scare of 2016

For starters I’m still convinced, to this day, that I got Zika. Sidenote: Don’t have children for two years. Probably won’t be a problem! ūüėČ
When I got there, Sam was quick to start making jokes about the “dead ponds” or the swampy ponds that surrounded the entire fair grounds. The first night that we were there, there were mosquitos EVERYWHERE. Per usual, I was the one who got attacked by them.
I got bit on the back of my left hand and the forearm of my right arm. By the next day, it had swollen SO huge that I was pretending not to be freaked out while simultaneously trying to figure out how to tell everyone that I was dying. On the second night of the rodeo I ended up going to the EMT’s with the ambulance that is mandatory to be on site during a rodeo to see if something could be done for it.

“How did it go?” My mom asked, she was beginning to be concerned because the swelling wasn’t going down.
“The EMT was totally trying to hit on me,” I said with a mock, exasperated eye roll.
“Yeah?” She said with a skeptical look. “What did he say?”
“He demanded that I come back tomorrow,” I said with a laugh.
My mom just rolled her eyes at me, “Katie, is it that serious?”
“In all honesty, he told me that I needed to go to the emergency room.”

What didn’t help is that I work within the Oregon government and got an alert that said there was a potential case of Zika in southern Oregon. In hindsight, I have always wondered if that “potential case” was actually me.

I never got any pictures of the swelling, I was so absolutely mortified by the fact that my hand looked like you had blown up a plastic glove that I was trying to keep it as hidden as possible. I actually had a legit fear that my hand was going to bust open, it was so filled with swelling, and I didn’t like what my imagination was doing thinking that it was going to just pop wide open.

My hand was so swollen that I actually couldn’t hold my reins. As a rodeo queen, you are announced in the grand entry and you do a “run-in” or a “hot lap” while the announcer advertises your rodeo/title and you wave. You run in counter clockwise because in the cowboy world you hold your reins in your left hand (so that your right hand is free to hold your rope) and you wave with your right hand. My left hand was SO swollen that I actually had to hold my reins with my right hand and wave across my body with my balloon hand because it wouldn’t hold the reins (and my mare has A LOT of power).

The swelling lasted the entire weekend and into most of the next week. I will never know what exactly caused it to overreact so bad but I quickly learned that I had an allergy to whatever was happening when I was bit by southern Oregon mosquitos and always kept a bug spray in my horse trailer to save me from turning into a balloon.

The Attack of the Eyelash

Wild Rogue ProRodeo was the first Oregon rodeo but during that weekend I already felt myself mentally preparing myself for the next weekend; Union, the Rose Parade in Portland and the Sisters Rodeo. It’s a crazy weekend but I was nervous for the Rose Parade because I had told myself I was going to wear these HUGE fake lashes for the Rose Parade so that they would have the dramatic effect that I was going for with my outfit. The only problem was that I had NEVER worn fake eyelashes before! I thought that the Wild Rogue ProRodeo would be as good of a time as ever to get a start on it.

The last night of the rodeo, I put on my fake eyelashes and we had a great time. Sam had to get her leased horse back to the stable that night as it was leaving for a horse show and I felt so bad because her pickup wouldn’t start up. We somehow got the owners of the riding Longhorn specialty act to let their assistant for the summer help us out by taking Sam, her friend, myself, her horse and her trailer to the barn and back in the middle of the night (that’s what time it was by the time we decided to give up on the pickup working).

There was no AC in their truck and it’s already VERY hot in southern Oregon at the beginning of June so, sitting in the front seat, I rolled the window all the way down as we cruised through the southern Oregon back roads.

That’s when I began to feel it.

My right eyelash started to flutter, I could feel it starting to come loose. So huge were they that they were beginning to get lift off… right off my eyes! Before I could do anything about it I had a flash to what was about to happen which was

Samantha Henricks, the 2017 Miss NPRA and 2016 Miss Wild Rogue ProRodeo Queen

that it was going to fly into the back of the truck and hit one of the unsuspecting individuals in the back. I started laughing hysterically.


“What’s wrong?” Same asked as I manically laughed.
I just turned and looked at her, my right eye lash waving at her with it’s best rodeo queen run-in impersonation.
She immediately got what was about to happen and she too started laughing really hard.

I looked ahead and BOOM! Off went my eyelash!

“AHHHH,” yelled her friend from the back. “I just got attacked by a moth! Oh my gosh it’s in here somewhere!”

To this day, we have not told him it was my eyelash.
I also wonder if the Longhorn group ever found that eyelash and wondered the story behind it.


The Rose Parade – Sisters Road Trip

The next weekend was when I began my friendship with the 2016 Miss NPRA Beth Snider. Beth and I had such an intense weekend, it’s nearly impossible to explain the amount of people it takes to get you ready and get everything taken care of.

I had been at Union for two nights for their AMAZING rodeo where I got to meet some of the most amazing people! That night I made the long haul drive with my mom riding shotgun all the way to a house on the outskirts of Portland where my sister and dad were already with my horse for the Rose Parade.
Beth was having a similar weekend. It was her finals weekend at Central Washington University where two of her finals counted for the majority of her grade in the class. She also couldn’t get the day off of work because she works in the admissions office and it was the day before commencement. She also made the midnight haul with her gelding Pink to get to Portland where we met up and got ready for the big event.

After the parade, I couldn’t help but laugh as Beth kept nodding off during the awards banquet. I was originally supposed to ride with the NPRA Director to Sister’s because my whole family left as soon as the parade was over to get my horses to Sister’s so that they weren’t stuck in traffic since it’s a very close drive to get there in time. Beth was so exhausted however that Jean had me drive her so she could sleep.


Beth, the 2016 Miss NPRA (and future Miss Rodeo Washington) on my sister’s horse Skylla who I rode sidesaddle in the Portland Grand Floral Parade and Holly, my rodeo mare.

Honestly, it was probably the second most dangerous drive I’ve ever made due to the fact that we were so exhausted. I had to stop once and get a¬†Pepsi and some snack foods because I didn’t know how I was going to stay awake. I had about 3 hours of sleep and Beth had one. It wasn’t a good combo.


Once Beth woke up from her nap, it’s about a three-hour drive from Portland to Sisters with a horse trailer, I asked if we could switch and just sitting in the passenger seat talking I felt much better. We rolled in about 15 minutes before the start of the rodeo but I was very thankful for my big sister Nicole for getting both my parade horse and my rodeo horse so that Beth and I could just jump on and SPRINT to the arena to make our run in.

Beth was a trooper all year, always being willing to help, always being her intelligent and sweet self! I loved having such amazing sash sisters in the state of Oregon this year!


The Future

I am so excited to watch each of these young ladies in the future! Sam will be an AMAZING Miss NPRA with her charisma, jokes, and great humor. Beth, we will see in the next few years, I am sure, as a Miss Rodeo Washington contestant. I cannot wait!

Posted in My Royal Adventures

Klamath Falls Bull Sale

Two weeks ago, I found myself down in southern Oregon for my first ever appearance at a bull sale and, not just ANY bull sale, it was THE Klamath Falls Bull Sale.

I have always heard so many fun and exciting stories about the Klamath Falls Bull Sale so I jumped at the chance to head down south for work while my boss was at the National Cattlemen’s Convention in Nashville, Tennessee (albeit I was VERY jealous of this). Once there I was caught off guard by the sheer energy that was buzzing around the entire premises.

Dog Trials

My co-workers and I rolled in late evening but made it over in time to watch the dog trials and a get a feel for the property. A dog trial team consists of one cowboy, one ranch horse, and one cowdog. They proceed to move the calves in the pen through an elaborate pattern complete with obstacles and are judged accordingly. At least that’s what I determined and I really couldn’t tell you more about it besides the fact that I was VERY impressed with the ability that they all had!

Grading and Sifting

Friday morning we got to watch the grading and sorting of the bulls for the sale. I was honored to get to sit with the veterinarian and Klamath County Cattlemen President Dr. Bloomfield. Watching the animals go through the pen, I was thankful for the opportunity to pick her brains as the animals were moved around the sorters. The first pen, she explained that they were simply making sure that the animals did not express any sort of lameness. In the second pen that they went through they were judged and placed for the rest of the event.

I was very excited about this opportunity to watch them work. Growing up, I had always jackpotted cattle through Ringmaster shows but I hadn’t seen an event like this before. Bulls were typed as either a pen bull or a halter bull. A pen bull referred to a bull that wasn’t handled, bred to be out on the open range. The halter bull was more what I was used too from the Ringmaster shows; they were furry, fitted out, and led into the pen. I was impressed with the calm demeanor of the bulls. During this portion, Dr. Bloomfield cracked a joke about how she was more than happy to watch from the bleachers as a few bulls had already gotten the grounds crew to jump the fence multiple times.

Team Branding

That night, we sat underneath a heater after looking through the vendors which were a unique combination of western attire, farm equipment, ranch equipment and horse equipment, and we watched the team branding. I know a lot about rodeo, I’ll tell you that much, but as of late I have been VERY interested in ranch rodeos!

The team branding was interesting because they started the whole event off with a “calcutta” which is where they auctioned off each of the teams. Whoever purchased the winning team would win the entire pot of what people had paid. Teams were going around $350.00 on average with almost 30 teams in the branding, you already knew that that individual was going to be making a LOT of money!

Teams of four people and two horses, it was a competition to get 4 calves branded to have your time stop or, if you weren’t fast enough, for you to disqualified. It was exciting and fun to watch, it’s the kind of team event that I would love to compete in!

Working Cowhorse

Saturday morning, the large arena was full of competitors competing in working cowhorse and reined cowhorse classes. I couldn’t help but have the sneaking suspicion that the competitors were getting ready for the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurities … my hint was all of the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity jackets that those behind the entry gate were wearing.

Bull Sale

Watching the Bull Sale I couldn’t help but feel my blood start pumping! Watching the animals go through, I couldn’t help but feel the rhythm of the “cattle rattle” of the auctioneer as bull after bull went through. I stood next to a gentleman whose family competes in the NPRA (the jacket was the giveaway) and I found myself wishing more than ever that I was further along in my dream goals and that I was there to purchase a bull to improve my herd genetics but, alas, I am just going to have to wait my turn!

There was a small variety of breeds at the sale, centered around Angus (black and red), Limousin, Herefords (my mothers favorite) and LimFlex (cross between Limousin and Angus). Looking into my future I think that I want to have Angus cows and then I can see how the meat market is playing out and go from there. Down the road, I REALLY want to try and breed Chianina cattle BUT I don’t know enough to even know if that is practical but, that’s just my whimsical rambling through my keyboard.

Ranch Rodeo

I have spent a lot of time at rodeo’s, as most of you know, but I am very excited for the opportunity to see a different style of rodeo. Ranch rodeo is more true to ranching and the western lifestyle than the pro rodeo arenas that I traveled the country making appearances at last year.

There are pros and cons to both; I think that like men’s and women’s basketball there are many things that you can appreciate and learn from each of these similarly categorized sports. I hope to one day be a competitor in both of these pens and go forward.

Once again, they did a Calcutta of the teams, albeit there were less teams than the branding the night before. At the ranch rodeo they only had three events. They started off with a branding competition. All qualified teams advanced to a “stray gathering” which was REALLY exciting to watch. Two teams competed at the same time during the stray gathering with the faster team knocking out the slower team for the final round which was the ranch bronc riding competition. Ranch bronc riding is similar to saddle bronc riding but more true to the original style of breaking colts in the old west on the ranch.



Posted in living life, Relationships, unmoldable

Am I Pretty?

When you go through a big breakup, one of those Hollywood or Nicholas Sparks worthy heartbreaks, life is really hard.

I think that the worst part about a serious break up with someone that you thought was going to be your future is that you doubt yourself. You begin to doubt not only the talents you were most proud of, whether that was cooking, sewing, being funny, or whatever, but you begin to doubt that you can even exist and that’s a horrible feeling.

I had the epiphany that this happens to individuals after I had a really bad break up of my own. I spent a large amount of time in negativity, a dark hole that was easy for me to fall into, before I went out to a big western rodeo event with my older sister and as we were walking around a couple things happened.

For starters two older couples stopped to tell me that I was beautiful; but she was prettier, I responded in my head.

Then a creepy older gentleman told me I could sit at their table all night so that he could just stare at me; You would say that to any girl, I retorted in my head.

Then a young cowboy asked me to dance, then another, and another; It’s just because they can see that I won’t step on their feet, I rationalized. 

Then walking back to our place for the night two separate cars singled me out of the group and called attention to me, trying to get my phone number or get my name.

At this point I just turned to my sister in disbelief. “Am I pretty?” I asked in absolute wonderment. It genuinely shocked and surprised me.

What is going on? I kept thinking to myself.

My sister turned around and said, “I’ve always known you were pretty, it just makes me happy that enough other people are finally getting vocal about it that you are starting to listen.”


Our world is not a build-up world, it is a tear-down world. We don’t compliment people on their good attributes, instead we give these back handed compliments that sound more like insults but if you REALLY listen they MAY have meant them as a compliment.

“For Pete’s sake, eat some food – you’re too skinny!”

“Heels?! Aren’t you tall enough already or do you just want to rub it in? You do look nice though…”

“Really? Chocolate? You’re going to eat chocolate? Probably just because you can.”


Promise yourself that you’ll always know your worth, that you should never doubt who you are and your significance on this world. If you are ever having a REALLY GOOD day, write yourself some notes. Put them in sealed envelopes and number them. When you have a bad day, read those messages that you wrote to yourself when you were feeling on top of the world. The kind of “on top of the world” that a bully of an employer or some significant other can never break down.

This works.

I know this because I used to do the opposite. I lived in such a negative world of self-hate that I would write myself notes about how horrible I was so that when good things happened I could read them to remind myself that I didn’t deserve them, that they would go away, and so much more. To this day I have a large collection of the mean things people say about me online and in person. It’s this awful game I play with myself. I started to keep two positives for every negative and it’s been slowly changing. This self-image that I hold for myself.

What really is pretty? 

Pretty is about who you are on the inside, not what you are on the outside, and NOBODY controls who you are on the inside but YOU.

You. Are. Pretty.

Posted in goals, My Royal Adventures

Goal #2 – Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

My 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to take things one week at a time. I was going to do something different in that every Sunday I would start a new goal that I would keep for 21 days. The reason for 21 days is that my research told me that it takes only 21 days to break an old habit and form a good one. Changing my quality of life for 2017, one week at a time.

Goal #2 – You cannot buy coffee unless it’s a double/triple stamp day, on a gift card or a gift.

This next goal stems solely from the fact that, just like any other average American, I have formed a VERY bad coffee habit. I used to never buy gas, I would just use our farm account growing up and then, being a big kid, I took on that expense to which I quickly realized that I was paying more for a cup of a specialty coffee drink than I was for a gallon of gas and, SERIOUSLY, which is more important?!

This realization brought me to the second goal of my 2017 New Years Resolutions; do not buy coffee.

I knew that I would have to make some exceptions for this goal but I knew that saving money would be the ultimate goal. Here were the rules:

  1. You cannot buy coffee from a coffee shop or stand unless it is with a gift card, you have a coupon, a free punch card or it is a double/triple-stamp day (at Dutch Bros).
  2. You can make your own coffee.

Let me let you in on a little secret, I don’t actually DRINK coffee. I know, pretty funny right? I think that’s why I got such an addiction to coffee shop coffee because I WOULD be that person who would look at their friend in the drive-through and say, “I don’t drink coffee.” Then turn over to the barista and say, “I’ll have a one-shot, dirty chai tea with ninja turtle flavoring, hot please.” (Ninja Turtle is the my fall/winter go-to flavoring of mint and chocolate while my spring/summer go-to flavoring is Bob Marley which is banana and chocolate.)

To any of you that follow my snapchat (@KtSchr0ck) then you will be well aware of some of the frustrations that this goal created for me in week 3. The reason that I had also put the note that I could buy coffee on a multi-stamp day was because Dutch Bros does that about once a week meaning that I could still get a drink at least once a week but was typically twice a week.

Through the course of this entire challenge it has only happened twice.
The first time that it happened I was en route to the Tri Cities area of Washington meaning that I wasn’t in my hometown to take advantage of the deal. The second time that it happened was on Day 17 of the challenge.

You’ve got to be kidding me!!!

Needless to say, I broke my caffeine-addiction cold turkey.

Just kidding ūüėČ

Although I didn’t break my coffee addiction, I did break the intense learning curve of how to be my own barista. No one in my family drinks coffee so we don’t even have a coffee maker at the house. We do, however, have one at work and with the help of creamer and a majority of a cup full of whole chocolate milk, I was able to start recreating a coffee drink that I could drink. It was a great afternoon pick-me up with an Oreo cookie to dunk.

Goal #2 Reward: S’Well Water Bottle

I wanted to keep up with the trend of getting rewards that continue to help promote my good habits so I rewarded myself with a S’Well Water Bottle, two actually. I have a goal scheduled to fire up shortly (basically just waiting on this reward to get here) that has to do with drinking more water during the day.

I figured these fashionable water bottles would help me remember to drink more water consistently!

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 6.41.36 PM.pngscreen-shot-2017-01-29-at-6-41-13-pm

Goal #1: No Soda


Posted in living life, Relationships

Perspective; 20/15 Vision

I had a witty post all planned about my latest bout with the eye doctor at the end of 2016. I was pretty excited for the appointment, why? Because I was at the end of my two year waiting period to see if I could qualify for laser eye surgery.

Walking in they asked the generic question of, “Has everything been okay with your contacts?”

I explained that, “Yup! Things are great but …” and then I proceeded to share my self-diagnosis.

“I think the last set of contacts that I got were bad though. As soon as I got them, they’ve been kind of weird in my left eye. If I close my right eye however, I can get my left eye to focus so maybe my right eye is overpowering my left? Does that happen?”

Bless my eye doctor, she gave me kind of a funny sidelong glance (I didn’t think anything of it) and then she said, “That’s very rare, but maybe it did happen. Why don’t we take a look at your eyes?”

She handed me the giant, flat, ladle-like spoon to cover one eye and then read off the eye chart. I remember when I came to my first eye test, I had memorized the eye chart because it was an “eye test” and I didn’t want to fail the test. I was 8 years old at the time, aren’t kids just the darndest things?

I can’t tell you how shocked I was when she told me that my contacts hadn’t been bad nor that one of my eyes was over dominating the other, but that my eyes had dropped drastically in their ability to do their job since the last time that I was there.

I had to ask, “Is there something that I am doing wrong that is causing this? Contacts with all the arena dust?”


To the average person, it wouldn’t be that BIG of a thing. To me, it is.

I’m already pretty blind.

The reason that I hate being blind is because I feel so vulnerable when I don’t have my glasses on or contacts in. The thought that someone could break into my house, it could catch on fire, I could lose my seeing-aides and then what? I’m a sitting duck.

The reason that I hated that they had gotten so much worse was that I have been in the process of eye check-ups over the last two years in the hopes to get approved for laser-eye surgery. This would result in reason number one being nonexistent.

My eyes had changed enough that I had to start over a whole new two-year cycle of approval for the laser-eye surgery approval. It was heartbreaking. To go just over two years and then have to start all over? It was heartbreaking. I am acutely aware of the fact that I will have to change my Drivers License and such shortly if it continues because I will be legally blind.

Legally blind.

And that is what this whole blog post was GOING to be about.

Then, just a short week later, I got the devastating phone call that my cousin David had been killed in work-related accident and, just like that, it didn’t matter that my eyes had gotten a little bit worse in two years.¬†img_2708

There are so many things, so many animals, so many benefits, so many people that we take for granted on a day-to-day basis that just absolutely needs to stop. My cousin David is one of the most wonderful, genuine and kind individuals that I will ever have the chance to know. I remember how proud he was when I signed to play college basketball at Oregon State – our families favorite college team of all time.

To realize that his smiling face and big bear hugs weren’t going to be present at family reunions or sports games in the future was absolutely shocking. I was so heartbroken. So floored.

img_2719He leaves behind a wife and two sons; the kind of close-knit family that I have always dreamed of for myself. One where the love for each other is so evident, where hanging out with each other is the greatest thing in the world. He leaves it behind in only his physical presence but not in his spirit, love and soul; God has taken care of that! David will always be a part of us, our family, our past, our present and our future.

And then I was angry at myself for thinking that my eyes getting worse was such a BIG thing for a 25 year-old.

Do you know how many 25 year-old’s have it so much worse than me?


I mean some have it worse than me when it comes to vision and not only do I have the ability with contacts and glasses to have 20/15 vision but that I can afford to buy them myself.

What was supposed to be a blog about 20/15 vision with the use of a LOT of help and 1/4″ thick corrective lenses became a blog about 20/15 vision of what we need to be more appreciative and grateful for in this world.




I challenge all of you to start a gratitude log, to pray more often, to reach out and consciously think and tell those that you are thankful for.

Posted in goals, My Royal Adventures

Goal #1 – No Soda

My 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to take things one week at a time. I was going to do something different in¬†that every Sunday I would start a new goal that I would keep for 21 days. The reason for 21 days is that my research told me that it takes only 21 days to break an old habit and form a good one. Changing my quality of life for 2017, one week at a time.

 Goal #1: No soda.

I have always heard these horror stories of people trying to change their eating styles, their eating habits, and how impossibly horrible it was. I had this co-worker who would complain and, truly, be in pain when it came to cravings. I have NEVER had something like that happen to me.

I have always wondered (I really hope I’m not the only one here, otherwise people are going to think that I’m really crazy) if I would be able to break a bad addiction. Alcoholism, cigarettes, so much more. I see the daily struggle through people’s social media posts and so much more – could I survive that? The thing is, I don’t want to get addicted to try!

Instead, I took on soda. Pepsi.jpg

I LOVE PEPSI. Not Coca-Cola, Pepsi.
I’m really specific here. It’s SOOOOOO good! Nothing tastes better with dinner after a big workout or even just eating certain foods – it just gets me. In an effort to make the caffeine addiction worse… I drank two cans at least a day for the last two weeks of December. A large enough consumption that those around me started commenting on it – good. I was trying to make myself addicted to it.

January 1st through January 21st was no soda.

Total survivor. It wasn’t hard AT ALL. So my question in regards to quitting bad habits still isn’t answered.

I will admit, I was very pleased to see, around Day 17 or so, I was eating a meal and I had my first craving. I just wanted to order a soda like everyone else but I got myself a peach lemonade which was delicious and thirst quenching. I was fine after my first sip.

Every single goal has a reward; that’s what makes the goals so much fun. It’ll be like Christmas every single weekend as long as I can keep the goal going!

Goal #1 Reward: 2017 Planner

This may have been the real reason as to why I lasted so long in regards to the “no soda” situation. I love anything organizational even though I may be one of the most disorganized people that you will ever meet. Pens, markers, paper, binders, folders, sticky notes, highlighters – gosh it just gets me REALLY excited!

I wouldn’t let myself get a 2017 Planner which allowed for a lot of frustration on my part through these first three weeks but, today, since I have not had any soda in 2017, I was able to put my order in for my new planner – a fancy one too! Extra incentive for me to keep following through with these 21 days goals!

Tune in for next week, I’ll let you know how Goal #2 plays out!¬†

Posted in My Royal Adventures

Snowshoeing Trillium Lake


I hadn’t given much thought as to¬†WHAT¬†exactly I was going to be doing for either the end of my 2016 or the start of my 2017. In fact, the only thing that I¬†WAS doing was sleeping as the clock turned to the next year because I wasn’t going to mess up my sleep schedule for work on Monday.

It’s not that 2016 wasn’t spectacular. In fact, I learned quite a lot!
It’s not that I’m excited for 2017. In fact, I have never looked forward to anything more than the adventures that this year will bring!

My friend Trevor, it seemed, didn’t have much planned either and somehow, through a conversation on Twitter and both our desires to just¬†GET OUT¬†and¬†DO SOMETHING! We ended up coming up with this great plan to go snowshoe Trillium Lake at Government Camp at Timberline Lodge.


Honestly, we were probably two of the most underprepared people to go up there, everything was so last minute but it turned out to be such a great time! Trevor reserved us snow boots, snowshoes, and poles for us and I drove us to the destination… at a whopping 5:00 am.

We hadn’t really thought of the fact that this was New Years weekend meaning that everybody and their family were going to be heading up to the mountains – we were just thinking that it was the weekend and we wanted to do something.

Getting into the lodge there was no one really there as of yet. Driving to the Trillium Lake parking lot there was still barely anyone there. It was pretty exciting though and I’m disappointed in myself for not getting a video or a picture, but the only other people up there were some cross country skiers and a team of sled dogs heading out on the trail to go mushing! I can’t tell you how bad I wanted to join in with them but the dogs were really excited and, honestly, they looked like professionals training and I didn’t want to get in the way.

The dogs took off a hot mess down the trail in front of us and we cautiously put on our snowshoes. The quote from the lady at the rental service was still running through my brain, “If you can walk, you can snowshoe!” I was really hoping that I wasn’t about to find out that I hadn’t been walking right my whole life!

Sure enough, snowshoeing is REALLY simple!

I don’t know why I was so apprehensive about it! Granted, where we were “snowshoeing” I am pretty convinced that we could have simply just walked in our boots BUT, saying that we went snowshoeing was ten times more fun.

It was absolutely quiet and beautiful, serene almost, out on the trail. No one else really showed up until afternoon at which point we were finishing our trail back at the parking lot which was filled with cars stalking for a spot. And when I say “showed up” they “showed up” in droves! Very thankful that we went early!

My partner in crime, Trevor, whose birthday was just a few short days later, was a trooper and walked across the frozen lake with me, making our own trail through the fresh powder to the dock. While crossing the lake we saw that someone had written a message in the snow – after carefuly analyzing it we both started laughing as it stated, “SEND NUDES!” I was absolutely convinced that we had to get a “Transformation Tuesday” picture and an excuse to come back in the summer and enjoy the lake! I definitely see kayaking on the same exact path across the river just eight months or so from now!!!


I was absolutely convinced that we had to get a “Transformation Tuesday” picture and an excuse to come back in the summer and enjoy the lake! I definitely see kayaking on the same exact path across the river just eight months or so from now!!!


Our timing on the day couldn’t have been any better – we made it back to return our rentals in time to catch the first half of the University of Washington’s semi-final football game… to which we quickly realized they were probably not going to win and so back home we went with very limited traffic.

Granted I definitely didn’t make it to the ball drop but my friends, knowing me all too well, sent me messages at the eastern time change to wish me a Happy New Year!







Rating: 5 Stars
As long as the weather holds up, I could see it being miserable if the weather was gross or a blizzard was coming in, I highly recommend this as a way to get out and enjoy nature. Not just that but it’s also not THAT much of a workout. My hip flexors were sore for a day or two but that was all!


Posted in Food Review, My Royal Adventures

I Gave In To The Hype… I Tried a Sushi Burrito

“So what? You were too lazy to cut the roll so I got a sushi churro?”

That was my exact thought when I heard of this new foodie craze in the pacific northwest. I had taken some items to Portland to hand off to someone and figured that, as long as I was in the area, why not go and get one of these sushi burritos?

Location: Happy Valley Station Food Carts, 13551 SE 145th Street, Happy Valley, OR
Food Truck Name: Wasabi Sushi PDX

For starters, the “Sushi Burrito” is not called that, it’s called a “Sushi B-Ritto.” They have ten different varieties of Sushi B-Ritto’s that you can pick from which include combinations of your favorite sushi rolls. They have spider, poke, tuna, and so much more. Without thinking, or really looking at the menu, I simply asked for the most popular Sushi B-Ritto. The young lady serving told me it was the Cartlab B-Ritto. (Curious about the other Sushi B-Ritto’s? Click here to see their full menu!)

We all eat with our eyes first, this is the utmost of importance and even non-sushi eaters would eat sushi b-rittos because they are absolutely stunning. As large as any burrito from your favorite Mexican food stop, they are so big you can barely hold them in your hand. They have so many beautiful colors within them but my biggest fear was an overwhelming amount of raw fish in order to fill up the burrito which would simply be “too much.”¬†img_2377

Instead of an overpoweringly raw-fish stuffed burrito, we had a variety of different vegetables including lettuce, with a sauce, a Krab stick, tempura shrimp, and spicy tuna in the burrito that I got.

“Spicy tuna” is where I went wrong however. I am a big fan of “spicy food” in respect to the Cajun definition which is “spicy meaning well seasoned.” I do not like my food to be hot just to be hot; I like it to be well seasoned to have a bite. You will never just catch me dumping hot sauce on my food. This tuna was HOT and it actually was so intensely hot that I felt sick from it after eating only a quarter of my b-ritto. However, quick thinking helped me figure out that it was the tuna causing my disgust. I removed the tuna and ate the rest of the b-ritto as a glorified California roll and it was DELICIOUS.

My only real complaint besides my taste preference on the tuna (which was my own fault, I will claim that, I should have checked to see what was inside of it before I got it) was that they coat the outside of the burrito with puffed rice to create a firmness that you can hold. I know that it logically made sense to do that so you could eat the b-ritto like a burrito but it was uncomfortable on the roof of my mouth biting into it.





Rating: 3.5 stars
This rating could go up if I tried another type of Sushi B-Ritto but I would prefer eating sushi rolls over the b-ritto at this point in my life.




Posted in My Royal Adventures

21 Days to Change Your Life

I read somewhere, conveniently just before the New Year that said the lines, “It takes 21 days to create a new habit.”

Like I often do, I found this one statement instigating so much thought from me that I wrote it down on a notecard in some of the sloppiest handwriting I have ever used and taped it to the window sill right above the laptop that I spend about 5.8379 hours a day working at and subsequently I spent a good 2.9381 hours a day looking at those word…


You start to think…

21 days really isn’t that long… it’s ONLY 3 weeks…

3 weeks isn’t even a whole month…

*insert a scoffing-in-my-head noise here*

That’s a pretty simple time period to change your life.. each month plus an extra “month” of sorts… you could change a lot about a person for the better.

While in the middle of thinking all of this, I had the realization that,

Wait a minute… 21 days?! I tried to tell myself that I would only get Dutch Bros [Oregon cultural coffee phenom] on Monday’s and Friday’s… I almost caved on TUESDAY and definitely did on Wednesday… TWICE!

Here’s the thing.

Thinking about making a change seems like such an easy thing to do, so easy! Thinking about changing yourself for your future self, your future family, etc. is easy because honestly, it’s all daydreaming. Don’t believe me?

The definition of “daydreaming” is “a pleasant visionary, usually wishful creation of the imagination.” That is exactly what happens when we think of goals, when we think of what we want our future to be. No one ever thinks of their future and thinks of bad things happening to them! We always look to the future with hope, as if it is promising us bigger and better things.

The thing is, the future doesn’t owe us anything. Our past, doesn’t owe us anything.

This is the cold hard truth that I think too many people learn the hard way, I know that I have. Moving into the future, we’ve got to look at where we want to be in 10 years, in 5 years, in 1 year, in 6 months, and in 21 days.

In an effort to help everyone reach their goals for 2017 I decided to help you all with some sheets because goals are just daydreams until you start to write them down.

How to start your 2017 off with a promise for the future:

Envelope #1: Ten Year Goal

On a piece of paper, write down the following:

  1. Where do I see my career/schooling in 2027?
  2. Where do I see my health in 2027?
  3. Where do I see my mental wellness in 2027?
  4. Where will my hobbies, extracurricular activities, etc. have taken me by 2027?

Fold it and seal it up tight! Write “Open December 31st, 2022” on the outside of it and then place it in a safekeeping box (we will discuss this in a future blog post).

Envelope #2: Five Year Goal

Think about what you wrote down for your ten year goal, in half the time it takes to get there, where do you see yourself being? Write down the following:

  1. Where do I see my career/schooling in 2022?
  2. Where do I see my health in 2022?
  3. Where do I see my mental wellness in 2027?
  4. Where will my hobbies, extracurricular activities, etc. have taken me by 2022?

Then you have to write yourself a reward, because, well, why else would we work so hard?

“If I make at least one of these goals I will go to Hawaii with my sister for a spring break.” Or fill it in with something super exciting like that!

Envelope #3: One Year Goal

What do you want to achieve for 2017? This is such a big year! It’s huge! Why? Well, because you are going to MAKE it huge! That’s why! To make this goal, it’s going to be a lot easier. You’re going to be significantly more focused.

  1. I want to …

My goal? I want to make a new, small goal, every 7 days to keep for 21 days to create a year of good habits.

Week 1 = no soda.