Adventures with Esther & Jacob » Food, Travel, & Photography

I may have done a stellar job keeping up with some of my goals, but I realized in making sure I was on top of the goals that I set on the blog, I ended up sacrificing a lot of my other time I normally spend talking to my friends and family. I hate that I ended up being “too busy” to skype with my parents, or to hang out with new friends, or to serve at church. A lesson I’m having to relearn every few months.

I read a quote recently that stopped me in my tracks.

Not priority quotes about family and time management.

I need to work on setting priorities. We all have the same amount of time as everyone else. The truth is, you can’t do it all (especially if you set a new goal every five minutes like me). My relationships suffered the most this month, so I am adding them to my goals list. Normally, I don’t write them out as goals because it’s a given or it then seems like an obligation, but it’s good to put it out there and be held accountable. At the end of the day, the people in my life are more important than getting an hour of piano practice in.. or reaching 10k steps on my fitbit. I need to remember that.

Last month’s highlights on instagram:

Setting Priorities for August.

See more on our instagram (esther’s & jacob).

Setting Priorities for August.

Setting Priorities for August.

  1. Do ONE pinterest projectThis one just never gets done. :( Few more days left in the month!
  2. Bake something new. Yes. I made some red velvet whoopie pies, but I didn’t like the recipe I used.
  3. Go on six creative dates. We did 4. It’s so hard to get them in when you’re on the road all the time.
  4. Read 2 books. Started reading Goldfinch, but not doing great on this summer reading challenge.
  5. Fill gratitude jar with four strips. Done!
  6. Schedule blog posts one week in advance. Finally! I’ve never been able to do this before!
  7. Finish Couch to 5k. Oops. Totally didn’t realize it goes to week 9. I’m on track though!
  8. Practice one hour of piano a day. Yes. Now stumbling through page 5 of Chopin’s Ballade 4.
  9. Send out my Lovely Letters Package on Time! Woohoo! Even did it early!
  10. Start practicing calligraphy for at least 15 minutes every day. Did this while I was at home.

Setting Priorities for August.

  1. Bake something new. Anyone have a good red velvet whoopie pie recipe? I’ve tried a few and they’re just okay.
  2. Go on six creative dates. 
  3. Skype with my parents every week.
  4. Read 1 book.  Just one!
  5. Fill gratitude jar with four strips.
  6. Schedule blog posts one week in advance.
  7. Finish Couch to 5k.
  8. Walk 10k steps every other day for fitbit. 
  9. Practice half an hour of piano a day. Work on playing through page 6 of Chopin’s Ballade 4.
  10. Send out my Lovely Letters Package on Time!

How are you doing on your time management? Do you need to work on setting priorities?

xoxo esther

Every month I’ve been doing monthly goals along with a community of goal setting bloggers. See how we’re doing on our 14 in 2014 resolutions or my previous monthly goals by clicking the banner below:

Setting Priorities for August with Weekly Wishes

Welcome to Lovely Letters, a pen pal program for bloggers, where we pair you up with a new partner every month and you swap snail mail. This month I’m co-hosting with Lauren and Paige. We usually try our best to pair you up with a blogger in a different country or at least a different part of your own, but this month we decided to switch it up so that you can meet bloggers that live closer to you. That way there’s a chance you can even meet in person after if you’d like! The blogger world can be both big and small, but this is a great way to get to know each other. :)

The theme of this month’s exchange was Ocean Blue. Since we’re on the road again, I’m not going to be able to see what I got until we get back from our trip. I really can’t wait to see what my partner Sou-Wah got me! Will update you on it later! Meanwhile, this is what I sent out:

Lovely Letters Monthly Pen Pal Program.

What do you guys think? Usually I try to find many little items to add to the package, but this month I actually stumbled across one awesome bigger item instead. A friend of mine gave me one of these awesome journals, and I loved it, so I couldn’t pass it up!  Don’t worry. This journal occasionally goes on sale at target, so I didn’t go over the limit!

Dates to remember for AUGUST’s Snail Mail Exchange:

  • Sign ups are open until August 6th midnight EST. You can sign up HERE (FOR BLOGGERS ONLY. If you don’t have a blog, you can always start one!)
  • You will get your partner pairings by the 9th and begin getting to know your partner.
  • Send out your packages by Aug 20th. Stay under the 7 USD limit and THEME: Hometown
  • Write about your experience and link up on Aug 29th (the last Friday of the month).


1. Share your about the lovely letters you recieved and/or sent out and the new pals you made. Unrelated entries or ones linked to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this site so that others can join in on the fun! Feel free to use the button below if you like!

LovelyLetters Snail Mail Exchange Button.

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Lovely Letters Snail Mail Exchange"><img src="" alt="Lovely Letters Snail Mail Exchange" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

3. MOST IMPORTANTLY you MUST visit the person’s blog post linked up directly before you and leave them a comment. This is what helps build the community.

Since everyone is getting their packages at different times, the link up will be open until August 29th.

Please contact me if you have participated in a previous exchange, and you’d like to co-host a Lovely Letters link up. For more detailed info READ THIS. If you want to tweet about it, you can use the hashtag #lovelyletters or tag @estherjulee to be retweeted.

Have you been part of a pen pal program before? What’s the last thing you’ve sent out snail mail?

xoxo esther

Local Adventurer Link-Up and Feature: Outdoor shooting ranges in Las Vegas.

Welcome to the Local Adventurer Link Up #8. The purpose of this weekly link up is to foster gratitude for the place you live, show others great local experiences that they might never find as a tourist, and to inspire others to explore and be present wherever they are. Our local adventure this week is at an outdoor Las Vegas Shooting Range!


I always thought that when people talked about shooting guns in the desert, they just took their guns and drove out to some random location to do it. I had no idea there were actual outdoor gun ranges in the desert where people generally go to for target practice.

Shooting guns is especially popular in Las Vegas / Nevada, because it’s one of the few states where it’s legal to shoot semi automatic weapons. We shot an AR-15 for the first time! Thanks Kyle and Will for teaching me how! :) One of our friends also has an AK, so we can’t wait to go out and shoot with it!

Las Vegas Gun Range Las Vegas NV.

Outdoor Las Vegas Shooting Range.

Outdoor Gun Ranges in Las Vegas.

Outdoor Las Vegas Shooting Range.

outdoor las vegas gun range.

Outdoor las vegas gun range.

Outdoor Las Vegas Shooting Range.

See more photos on facebook.

Tips and Rules for going to a Outdoor Las Vegas Shooting Range:


1. Share a post about a local adventure either in your own hometown or within driving distance. Unrelated entries or ones linked to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this site so that others can join in on the fun! Feel free to use the button below if you like!

Local Adventurer

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Local Adventurer" target="_blank"><img src="" width="250" alt="Local Adventurer" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

3. MOST IMPORTANTLY you MUST visit the person’s blog linked up directly before you and leave them a comment on their blog post.

4. If you tweet out your local adventure post with #localadventurer, I will retweet your link!

See our other Las Vegas local adventures here. :)

Have you shot a gun before? If not, would you try it?

xoxo estherJacob

Also, I wanted to say that this is my first sponsored post ever! This blog has been a random collection of thoughts, travelogues, etc. And just as we have gone through many life transitions, so has this blog. I’m so thankful and super stoked about the new opportunities opening up through this blog.

Since moving to Vegas, we are always looking for ways to cool down! Besides the pool, sitting in front of a fan, or escaping to a nice air conditioned movie theater or casino, we love finding cold snacks and desserts. When we found out that Starburst had created Sorbet Bars, we were excited to try them.

We picked up a few boxes and brought them poolside. Now everyone knows that the pink Starburst are the best, so it was an obvious choice for them to start with that flavor. They are squared bars so they feel like a giant Starburst and they have a good balance of sweet and tangy. They also have a softer, creamy texture as opposed to popsicles, but are still light and refreshing.

Starburst Ice Cream.
Starburst Popsicles.
Starburst Popsicle / Sorbet Bars.
Starburst Sorbet Bars

Where to get them:

  • They come in 2.6-ounce 4-Packs for $3.99 and 2.6-ounce singles for $1.49.
  • You can pick up 4-Pack boxes at Wal-Mart and local grocery stores or singles at local convenience stores.

In partnership with Starburst, we are also giving away a few boxes! If you win, we’ll send you a coupon that you can take to the store to redeem so that you can try them yourself. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay up to date on future flavors and other Starburst products by following them on twitter and facebook.

What cold snacks and desserts do you like to eat to cool you down?
xoxo esther
Linking up with Treat Yo Self and School of Life today. This is my gratitude post for week 45. 7 more weeks to go! Click the banner below to see other gratitude posts:
Week 45 First Sponsored Post with Starbursts.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

I feel like pinterest can be bad for me. Yes, it definitely can. I’m constantly looking at new places I want to go or new things I want to have. Things I never knew I wanted. Unlike the responsible pinners, I am a digital hoarder. Who knows.. they might come in handy one day. Am I right? :) Maybe not so much for style, recipes, and DIY projects, but when it comes to travel, the upside is that it opens my eyes to all that is out there. So many possibilities! And it inspires me to actually go…

Here’s the Recent Top 5 on Our Wanderlust List:

Wanderlust list: Iceland.

Alaska on our wanderlust list.
Juneau Alaska on our wanderlust list

Wanderlust list: Greece

Wanderlusting: Australia
Wanderlust List: Antarctica

Iceland / Alaska / Greece / Australia / Antarctica.
See all our travel board pins.

Not sure if it’s because it’s so hot in Vegas, but I noticed that most of them are places with colder climates. :) We hope to make them a reality in our near future!

What’s on your wanderlust list?

xoxo estherJacob

Photo Credit: 2. Ron Niebrugge  6. Cecil Whitt. If anyone knows the others, please let me know!