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kaldridge

Travel In Arizona – Quick Tips

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Traveling to Arizona is worth every penny! The landscape is gorgeous and there are endless things to see and do! Arizona holds a true place in my heart and hosts some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. Planning your trip to Arizona requires prior thought and planning to have confidence you are going to have your dream vacation.

First and foremost be aware of the time of year and the climate of the places you are planning to visit. Between May and September, you need to bring 30+ sunscreen (trust me the sun is strong here), hats, shorts and tank tops. You want to stay as cool as possible during this time frame, even as you head north as Sedona can be anywhere between 95 and 105 degrees. You should also be aware that while it is common knowledge that Arizona is a ‘dry heat’ it is extremely hot! I mean stick your head in a burning oven and you have an idea of what Arizona in the summer is like! Don’t be silly during this time of year, be sure to bring twice the amount of water you are used to. There are a lot of people who underestimate how much water you need in order to hike or do any other outdoor activities here. Whether you are hiking or just out chilling at the pool, water is the key ingredient to a successful Arizona visit!

Between September and March you need to be aware that while Phoenix may be beautiful, anything North will be seasonal. Expect snow and cold temperatures! You will need to bring layers during these months to accommodate the Phoenix and Southern Arizona weather as well as the Northern Arizona cold climate. You will need coats, scarves and boots for anywhere North of Phoenix. But I will say, visiting Sedona and Flagstaff during the winter is gorgeous! And the Grand Canyon blanketed in snow is just STUNNING! Freezing, but stunning!

Finally, make sure to plan your time wisely, Arizona is much larger than you think!! Getting from Phoenix to the outh Rim of the Grand Canyon is a 4-hour one-way trip, so you have to prepare yourself with enough time to get from one location to the next. Depending on what type of trip you are taking in Arizona, you will normally have to drive anywhere between 2-5 hours from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Below is a list documenting the distance from the airport to major Arizona destinations.

North of Phoenix                                                       South of Phoenix

Sedona- 2 hours                                                          Tucson – 1 hour 40 minutes

Flagstaff- 2 hours 30 minutes                                     Tombstone- 2 hours 50 minutes

South Rim Grand Canyon-4 hours

Antelope Canyon- 4 hours 50 minutes

Horseshoe Bend- 4 hours 30 minutes

Our upcoming Arizona Travel Guide will be a huge help to anyone planning a trip to Arizona. It will have travel ideas, travel plans, and the best places to visit while you are here. Our travel guide will be an incredible asset to you for all your upcoming Arizona adventures! Comment below if you want a sneak peak!

xoxo

Kayla

 

Stress Free Work Week

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You are going to have an amazing week!

You are not going to let stress ruin your week!

Work weeks are tough. There is no getting around it; something goes wrong, a client gets frustrated or a coworker makes you mad. Stress is a constant factor in our lives, especially at work. But there are ways to help alleviate this and make your week fantastic!

The first step is to recognize that while it is an important part of your life, it isn’t everything. That means that when something goes wrong, it’s okay to shrug it off and move on. There are very few problems that warrant the stress we give them. One of the lies I believe the world has told us is that we need to stress out about everything that doesn’t go our way. The danger of this lie is that it causes you physical and emotional harm to stress about every little thing. It hurts you to worry yourself about things you have no control over or trivial things that won’t matter in 2 months. When you find yourself stressing this week, start following these few tips.

  1.  Get up and walk away. Walking away from the situation will help you to put the situation into perspective and to be able to handle with a clear and calm mind.
  2.  Take a sip of icy water. Always have a bottle of water at your desk. Taking small sips of water when you are stressed will help your body to calm down and fight the stresses.
  3. A technique I learned from a therapist in college is to close your eyes and breathe in for six seconds and then exhale for seven seconds. Repeat this technique until you can feel the tension and stress leave your mind. It sounds silly, but this is, without doubt, one of the best techniques I’ve ever tried.

The next thing is to think about what you want to be remembered for. Do you want to be remembered for being stressed out at work? Remembered as the person who was unhinged and constantly worried about things outside their control? Or would you rather be remembered as someone who always brought joy and happiness to those you worked with? Someone who always lent a helping hand to others and valued your needs over their own. Those traits are so much more important than high sales numbers and increased profit margins. Money comes and goes, but character makes a lasting difference. Take charge of your week and choose joy over stress.

At the end of this week, you are going to look back and say that you kicked butt this week. Remember that you are a Rockstar and God has got an incredible plan for your life.

In the hard moments, pray for wisdom and guidance. 

When you are stressed, know that God has every situation under control.

You are loved, and you got this.

xoxo– Kayla

25th Birthday Post

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Today I turn 25!

I am so excited and nervous to be getting another year older! I have spent the last few days reflecting on my 25 years. There are things that I am incredibly proud of, and areas I wish I would have done things differently. However, each moment has lead me to where I am today and for that I am eternally grateful!

In 25 years on this earth, I have learned one big lesson. That kindness, generosity, and a heart of service are what matters. I have career goals, personal goals, and a huge bucket list. But the things that I reflect on and know without a doubt I did correctly have been choosing kindness. Choosing to serve others even when I feel they don’t deserve it.

I have grown a lot over the years, but I know I still have a ways to go. Every day I am learning to confidently pursue my dreams and have faith that God’s plan is always in motion!

So today, please extend a kind and helping hand to those around you. In the end it will help not only them but you!

 

xoxo- Kayla

Fear of Being Late to the Party

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I am afraid of being late to the party.

I am afraid of being late to the party. What if I am too late to pursue the things I really want to do? What if I can’t catch up to those who are succeeding in my field? What if I can’t achieve the dream I have set in my head?

These thoughts enter my brain every time I start to think I could do more in life. I am afraid I’m too late to the party. I am too late to become anything special, and all the good ideas and companies have already been created and implemented.

Does anyone else ever get this way? You get excited about a new idea and a new goal that feels right, only to watch everyone around you seem as if they are way ahead of the game? You begin to question why; why do you have a passion for this if all the ideas have already been taken? Can you really offer something new to the world?

Well, I am here to tell you that those feelings are normal. And, I would argue this means you headed in the right direction. If you have a deep passion for something, get excited about it. If you get paralyzed by fear, it is a sign that you need to push through. Push past the fear and see what’s beyond. The things you love in life are there for a reason. If you don’t try, you will never know where you could have ended up!

So here are my tips to overcoming “the late to the party” syndrome:

Tip 1.) Believe you are UNIQUE! That means that your ideas and thoughts are uniquely yours. Don’t be afraid to show the world what only your brain could provide!

Tip 2.) Face your fears. There will always be fears in your life. There is always the fear that you won’t achieve your dreams. The question is whether or not you step up and overcome that fear. Fear has a way of paralyzing us and stopping us from moving forward. Fear of other people’s opinions of you, fear that you will make fool of yourself, or fear that you aren’t good enough. Tell yourself today that fear will not control you. You are greater than your fear. You can accomplish your goals and dreams!

Tip 3.) You aren’t too late. There is no reason you can’t go after that new job, start that business, or pursue a new hobby. Your life is whatever you want it to be! Just because others are further along in their careers, hobbies, or other dreams; has no bearing on whether or not you can accomplish your own dreams! Life isn’t a race to see who gets there first. It’s about being the best person you can be and doing your best to make the world a better place.

Tip 4.) Don’t let others say you can’t. There will always be naysayers and people who don’t believe in your dream. They will tell you that you aren’t smart enough, talented enough, or you don’t have the funds to pursue your dream. Don’t allow their thoughts to affect you. Tell yourself everyday, “I Am Made For More”. You were made for so much more than you know. Have faith in yourself and your dream.

So today, don’t believe the lie that you are too late to the party. Believe that you were uniquely created to accomplish your dreams at this time! Remember this verse from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

xoxo — Kayla

Overcoming Worry with Faith

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There isn’t room for both worry and faith.

Let me preface this by saying that I have struggled with constant worry all my life. My gut reaction is to worry and stress over every situation. Every time I am faced with something that is challenging or stressful, I immediately start to worry. My mind jumps to the worst-case scenario and stays there for hours. I think of the worst thing that could be said to me, the worst possible situation. For years, it was this constant loop of stress and worry.

The first time I felt relief from my constant worry was when I started dating my husband. He would push me to be better, he would push me to look at the situation objectively not as what could happen. In every situation he would help me to look at the situation in a different light, helping push me to have faith instead of fear and worry. I could never figure out why my husband didn’t stress out. It wasn’t until we had been married for a while that I finally realized it wasn’t that he didn’t feel that pang of stress or worry, it’s that he knows that things will be fine. He has complete faith that we can handle any situation that comes our way.

My pastor preached a sermon a few weeks ago where he talked about how we can’t have both worry and faith and my husband nudged me. The pastor was speaking in that moment that if we have faith in the Lord, we can’t have this constant worry. It doesn’t mean you can’t have no worries in your life, it means not letting worry consume you. Instead of letting worry be your reaction, let faith come in instead. He went on to say that God mentions “Do NOT worry” countless times throughout scripture.

Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

My reaction to this verse has always been the same, that God must not understand that I have horrible anxiety, doesn’t he understand that my first reaction is to worry, that my mind always jumps to the worst-case scenario. That this verse was obviously not written with me in mind because I can’t get over my anxiety and worry. When in fact, I think this verse was stated specifically for people like me and you. People who deal with massive anxiety and panic attacks, people who stress over the big and little things in life.

 

Do not worry. Choose faith over fear. Choose faith over stress. Choose faith over doubt. In every situation we have the power to pray, pray for faith in that moment. Pray that the Lord would guide our hearts in faith instead of fear and worry. Find someone who pushes you to have faith over worry and fear!

 

The Lord is guiding you every step of the way!

 

xoxo

 

Kayla

 

 

 

Koffee with Kayla Thursday: Building Faith from a Ripped Dress

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I love my black long sleeved dress. I feel beautiful and comfortable in this dress, it’s just the right length, the sleeves aren’t too long or too short, and it shows off all the right places. It’s one of my favorite go to dresses. Today it ripped…

I may be over dramatic here but it was heartbreaking. Mainly because I can’t afford to replace it. We are just at that point in our lives, where I can’t afford to replace everything that breaks or tears. I was getting more angry by the second when this bible verse slipped into my mind.

Matthew 6:25-34“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I was reminded in this moment the gravity of this verse. When things are easy and the money is flowing in, we lose the significance. The Lord knows what we need, he knows there are basic needs that need to be met. And he says if he takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers in the field, won’t he take care of us. If this doesn’t cause you to stop and just praise the Lord, let me phrase it this way.

We are so quick to think that the Lord is against us, that things just aren’t going right. Whether it’s something big, like a family member having cancer, or something small like a ripped dress, we are so quick to change our tune. We are so quick to believe God has forgotten about us, that we are on our own and things will never get better.

And it’s so easy to get trapped in this train of thought. The second my dress ripped, there was no stopping my mind from getting frustrated and upset. I couldn’t think of anything besides my ripped dress. I was angry and upset, texting my husband in anger and thinking about how I can’t replace this dress and my favorite pair of shoes that ripped two days ago. Until I could feel God saying to me, “Kayla, I will take care of you. I am here with you. I will lead you through this time. Trust me.” (once in a while I actually hear that still small voice)

My time during this medical school journey has been one where I have been actively reflected with God about my faith and trusting Him.

When my shirt rips, my family goes through a rough patch, or my husband and I have an unexpected financial expense, I can choose two options.

I can choose to respond as I did with the ripped dress, in anger. I can be angry that things aren’t going my way. I can be angry that things are hard. I can be angry with the world that life isn’t the perfect journey I wanted.

Or I can remember this verse. I can tell myself, if God is taking care of all the animals of the world, and he values me so much more, do I not trust him to take care of my needs too? Do I not trust him with my finances, with my future, with my marriage, with my dreams?

Every day we are faced with decisions. And each day we get the opportunity to respond in Faith instead of Fear.

Today, I pray you respond in Faith. Respond with grace and understanding. Know that while the journey may not be unfolding the way you planned, that God has PERFECT timing. That perfect timing will come to pass. Whatever you may be dealing with today, try a technique my mom always used. When life is hard or she didn’t know what to do, she was on her knees in prayer. She was on her knees asking for guidance, asking for wisdom in the situation. And I have no doubt He answered every prayer, maybe not in the way my mom wanted, but He answered EVERY prayer. He is answering your prayers today, and he is guiding you along this path. Keep the Faith!

 

xoxo,

Kayla

 

The Best Airbnb in Sedona

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I am absolutely in love with Sedona! It is without fail, one of the most gorgeous destinations in the US.  My husband and I fell in love with Sedona the moment we saw it, it has an unparalleled beauty that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen!

We’ve had many family members and friends come out to Arizona over the last three years, and once they have seen Sedona it’s the only place they want to go back to! Because of it’s unbelievable views, there really is nowhere bad to stay in Sedona, however, I’ve compiled a list of my go to Airbnb’s in Sedona. (Best part is they all host amazing reviews!)

La Colibri Rouge Luxury Master Suite

https://a0.muscache.com/im/pictures/d0a5ec2a-3015-42a8-9489-70f7990f3671.jpg?aki_policy=xx_large

This suite is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful wood surrounds the walls, floors and door, and you are treated with a large bed to relax in along with a private bathroom for your use. The location is outside of the traffic of downtown Sedona allowing you to relax in nature and truly enjoy your vacation. The room starts at only $99/night and is perfect for any couple looking for a relaxing oasis.

Red Rock Base Camp

At the Red Rock base camp, you get a gorgeous view of the Red Rocks and a quiet comfortable space. The inside of the house is clean, well lit and spacious. Hosting an updated and beautiful kitchen, private patio and comfortable furniture. This house is gorgeous retreat for anyone who wants to have the beauty of Sedona right from their living room for a great price! Starting at $95 a night, this house is definitely a steal for anyone coming to Sedona!

Tranquil Beauty

Kitchen and dining area

While the living room and kitchen are shared with your Airbnb host, the house is absolutely stunning. Pristine and clean, this place is nothing short of a home away from home! This home is right beside Coconino National Forest, which hosts gorgeous views of the Red Rocks! You are also an easy drive into downtown Sedona where all the shops and excursions are. The best part is this gorgeous Airbnb starts at only $43/night!!

Wherever you stay, you will not be disappointed in the gorgeous views Sedona has to offer you!

 

xoxo,

 

Kayla

Passion For Travel

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I have always had a deep passion for travel.

There are few things in life that truly make you feel alive, and for me that is getting out and experiencing other cultures, historic structures and stunning views. But what if your passion seems unattainable? What if there is no feasible way to pursue the things you love in life?

When this happens, it causes me to sit down and think about why I have this passion, and what I can do with that passion.

If your like me and have a passion for traveling, but you can’t travel to all the places you’ve dreamed of going right now, take steps to still fulfill that travel ache within you. Your passions in life are there for a reason, and even if they do not seem feasible in the short term, there is a reason for them.

One thing I try to do is offer to go on business trips as often as possible. These trips aren’t always to places on my bucket list, but they give me the chance to get out of my everyday environment, explore new cities and see what they have to offer! We have a fun trip planned to New Mexico this summer for work; it’s not a place I had on my bucket list to see, but it is an opportunity to experience an entirely new state!

Another thing I like to do is start planning for future trips! I have a blast spending time researching the perfect places to stay, the best local cuisine in the area, and the exciting excursions to take while you are there. I’ve been working on a post about Oahu and I’ve spent hours finding the cutest little beach homes to rent. Most of these houses are away from large hotel chains and secluded in an area where you could enjoy the serenity of Hawaii. I absolutely loved envisioning what it would be like to stay there; feeling the ocean tickle your toes, smell the refreshing ocean breeze, and look out at the expansive ocean all around you.

It may not be sitting in the perfect vacation spot, but taking time to plan these trips and envision what could be is a great way to help satisfy your travel bug(at least for a while)!

Lastly, I love to explore the state I am in. There are so many unique areas in every state. So get in your car and drive to a place you’ve never been before. This year my husband and I are hoping to visit Tombstone and Horseshoe Bend. Both areas have their own unique charm, host stunning views, and are within a 2-4 hour drive of our home. Being able to take time to experience the areas all around us is such a blessing and something everyone should utilize.

Don’t let lack of accessibility to your bucket list stop you from exploring new places and enjoying your passion for travel!

 

Are You Living to Your Highest Potential?

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Are you living to your highest potential?

My husband has never wavered from pursuing his dream, no matter the cost or the time, he has pursued his dream with passion and drive. It’s one of the most amazing things you will ever see. The drive and passion he has to be a doctor is unparalleled. It’s what makes me believe that people can really find their passions in life. However, watching someone drive forward in their dreams, really makes you look inward and ask yourself, “Am I living out my dream?”

If you are, you know it. Without a shadow of a doubt. However, when you aren’t you know it as well.

Are you sitting in your cubicle questioning why you are sitting there, or are you sitting there fulfilled knowing you are in the right place?

If you are sitting there thinking, “Is this really where I will be 5 years from now?” or “Am I excited to get up and head to the office this morning?” or does the phrase, “I can’t wait to go home” come out of your mouth every day?

I think the challenge is that as you get older, you face increasing responsibility and expectations of those around you. Expectations to succeed, expectations to be extraordinary. Being ordinary, or not having remarkable success is looked down upon. How do we navigate this world?

I think there are a few ways we can look at this. We can look at life as a series of hurdles we need to cross to be successful. We can hit all our goals, hit our salary targets, start our own business, and become successful in the eyes of others.

But I think the real question we need to ask ourselves is are we happy, are we fulfilled in what we are doing?

If we aren’t what can we do to change it?

I don’t have this figured out, I’m 24 years old, 2 ½ years out of college, I can say I am still figuring everything out!

But I do have some suggestions that I have learned.

Take time to think. Don’t rush. I think the biggest hurdle I have been facing is discovering my passion “in time”. There is no time limit to finding your passion in life. Some things take longer, some things require time. That’s okay! Take your time, research the things you are interested in. It will be worth it in the end.

Finding your passion is difficult. I have spent years struggling over the fact that I couldn’t find my passion in life. When I took a class called the 12 Week Year a couple weeks ago our instructor said, “lack of passion is lack of clarity.” Nothing has hit me more than that did. If we are lacking in passion, we are lacking in clarity. We are not clearly seeing our future, we are not clearly seeing what we want to be. I have been wrestling with this statement ever since. If I lack clarity, then maybe I have a passion in life, it’s just clouded by all the noise around me.

The noise around me is what is hard to decipher, are you happy in life or just content? The noise is what can stop you from moving from content to happy. And I believe this is where I get stuck a lot. You get content, not that its bad to be content, but you stop moving forward.

. Maybe the noise is stopping you today from taking a step back and looking at your life. If it is, take a step back today and allow yourself to look at your life in perspective. Are you on the path toward your dreams and passions or are you on a path of contentment that will never allow you to reach those dreams?