How I Met My Other Half…

This is the question that all couples hear, “how did you two meet?”. I know that some people feel annoyed by this, but I never do. It makes me smile to think about it. I really truly love this man and we have been together almost 6 years, so it is nice to reminisce about when we first met!


Ok so first a little bit of backstory. I first started going to the chiropractor when I was 15 because I hurt my hip in volleyball. From then until I was 18 I would occasionally go in but only when I really needed (like after I got rear ended…ugh). I knew one of the guys that worked there but I never really paid attention to anyone else (is that totally terrible of me)?

So my senior year in high school I was in the top 10 to become Apple Blossom Royalty. Thank goodness I wasn’t chosen, but we can talk about that later. So about a week or so before the big pageant I went in to get adjusted and chatted with everyone, then took off like usual.

Fast forward 6 months and I am working at a local outdoor goods store. It is a Saturday in the middle of August and it is busy. People are in buying inner tubes and camping gear and fishing poles and blah blah blah. I work up at the cash register so I am ringing people through.


Next person steps up and it is this SUPER freaking hott guy and his friend. They were buying a couple of tubes to go float the river. He looks at me for a second and goes, “your name is Samantha right?”. UMMMMMMM….you know me!?!?! I do that thing where I pretend to recognize him too, “yeah it is how are you doing?!?”. We chat while I ring him up and I have no clue who this guy is. Like not even a tiny idea. I know, I’m a jerk.

I tell him his total and he hands me his credit card. SCORE! I peek at his name while I swipe his card. Ryan Cox. Still no freaking clue! Ugh! And I can’t just ask him how I know him cause he is ridiculously good looking and that would be embarrassing. So he says, “well have a good day see you around” and takes off. I spent the rest of my shift searching the archives in my head to figure out how I knew this guy!


So I decide to start asking around. Everywhere. I asked every person I knew, “Do you know anybody named Ryan Cox?”. Nothing. Not one single hit. I was getting discouraged because I knew that if I wanted to figure this out I was pretty much left with only one option. Cyber stalking. That’s right, it was time for Facebook.

I logged onto Facebook that night and searched his name. BOOM. Found him. And hot damn, his profile picture just solidified how good looking he was. I looked to see where he listed his job as cause maybe that would help. Forest Service. Well that sure doesn’t help me. I looked through the few pictures I could see on his profile. NOTHING. This guy was literally no help to me. At this point, I knew what I had to do.

I private messaged him. I did it guys. I sent him a message with these exact words, “Hey it’s Samantha from Hooked On Toys. I am sorry if this seems weird or like I am jerk but how in the world do I know you. I cannot figure it out!”. I was so nervous when I sent that message, not really expecting much back. *DING*. He replied. Holy shit he replied. Below is our following conversation.


Ryan (1)Ryan (2)

This boy. From the start he wasn’t great at flirting and still isn’t. And I love him even more for it.

So he held true to his word. Texted my withing in a few minutes and I kept dropping HARD hints that I wanted to maybe go out on a date. “We should hang out soon”. His answer? “Sure”. So I tried again, “You free anytime this week?”. Again, “I think so”. Oh for goodness sake boy. Finally, “Well you let me know when you are free and we could do something”. Thank goodness that seemed to work since he replied, “How about Wednesday after work? We could go to dinner”. I said yes of course, and the rest is history! It was such a fun time and I am so glad I decided to “stalk” him ha!


(Look at those little babies!) He was 21 and I was 18 when we started dating. Now he is 27 and I am 24 and I have loved growing up with him. I plan to spend many more years learning and growing and adventuring with this wonderful man.

Here’s to us!


YOUR TURN! How did you and your significant other meet?

Guest Post: Micaiah from Beyond The Blonde

I am so excited to share my first guest post with you! Today our featured guest will be Micaiah McMcreary from “Beyond The Blonde” (you can check out her amazing blog here). We will talk about how she got started with her blog, where she gets inspiration for her amazing fashion sense, and what her favorite workout clothing is!

So without further ado, please welcome our guest!


Micaiah McMcreary from “Beyond The Blonde”


First off tell us a little bit about yourself? What you do, your hobbies, etc.

Hi! My name is Micaiah McCreary. I am 24 years old and am a real estate agent. I have a Bachelors Degree in Community Health from Eastern Washington University (go Eags!) I am fortunate enough to work alongside my sweet hubby, Jeremy, and we currently live in Quincy, WA. We also have a husky/malamute named Kunu. Some of my favorite hobbies include playing any sport really, going to the lake, making DIY crafts, baking, reading, and just hanging out with family and friends!


What made you want to start “Beyond The Blonde”? What is your blog about?

I love to journal but have a hard time remembering to do so. Starting a blog has made me more accountable with documenting any fun events/trips/memories that I have had. I’ve also been following several blogs, so I kind of got inspired by them! Beyond The Blonde is basically my creative platform where I can share and talk about anything I’d like to. Whether that be a new recipe I found, an outift, or just whatever is on my mind. The blog is for myself to, down the road, look back on and be able to relive things that were going on in my life and things I was interested in. But it is also a way for those to just kind of follow my life and what I am up to. I have family who lives all over so its nice being able to share things that are going on in my life with them.

My blog mainly is focused on lifestyle and fashion. The lifestyle part is just me sharing what I’m up to and the things I am doing. I’ve been a fashion lover since day one, so I have a blast sharing outfits and new looks on the blog. My main goal with starting this blog was to be absolutely transparent. I wanted those who knew me to read what I am writing and be able to say “yeah, I can definitely hear Micaiah say that.” 🙂 The way I came up with the name “Beyond The Blonde” was that yes, I may be sharing fashion looks and talk about material things every now and then, but my blog is so much more than that. I wanted my blog to be a place where I can share thoughts and ideas that are meaningful and have a purpose. Basically, there is more to my blog and myself than being blonde 😉


You have such amazing fashion sense…where do you get your inspiration?

You are too sweet! I’ve always loooooooved clothes. I don’t know what it is but I just love them. Even clothes I don’t wear anymore but have memories with I don’t give way haha! I just store them in tubs! But I get my inspiration mainly from Pinterest. Whether it be in magazines, on Instagram or just random people on the street. I love almost EVERY quote by Audrey Hepburn, and when she says she believes in overdressing that is ME! I’m not afraid to try a new trend or something I think looks good. I am a clothes lover and they are just something that make me feel happy and beautiful 🙂


Do you have any fashion tips for us not-so-fashionable on how we can improve our closets?

I would say find whatever makes you feel most yourself and comfortable and roll with it! If you are comfortable trying new styles, then go for it! The great thing about fashion is there really isn’t any wrong or right to it. It’s however you make it. But if you would like to step up your game a bit, get out of your comfort zone. Try things on you normally wouldn’t, online “window-shop” to get ideas, or go on Pinterest. Pinterest is the answer to all questions 😉 I would also recommend buying quality over quantity. Don’t get me wrong, Old Navy, Target & Forever 21 are some of my go-to spots, but it’s good to throw in some higher quality pieces. You never know when you might need them, and to tell you the truth, they will just feel better and will probably become your new favorites!


You seem like you live a pretty healthy lifestyle…do you have a favorite gym clothing brand?

I am IN LOVE with everything Old Navy has come out with. The quality of their items are great, and everything is so cute! I just bought a pair of floral running shorts and they are amazing! I also am a sucker for anything Nike. I have yet to buy anything from Lululemon, mainly because what I buy from Old Navy and Nike work excellent for me, but it is on my bucket list to own a pair of their yoga pants!


I want to thank Micaiah for being my first guest here! If you want to follow a fun, happy, upbeat, and adorable lifestyle blog go check her out at!

My Monday Faves #2

I cannot believe the weekend is over already. Doesn’t it always seem to go by so fast? But I am trying to embrace every day and not fret over the weekends. Every day is another chance to get after our goals!

So without further ado, lets get into today’s post. Last week I posted the first “Monday Faves” post. So today we are rounding up number two. Below you will see some of my favorite things from this last week. Feel free to share your weekly faves in the comments below!



We first tried this coffee about 2-3 years ago. We ran out recently but thankfully last month I was able to make a trip to Trader Joe’s and pick some up and I am so glad it is back in my life. It is one of my favorite coffee’s ever! Love this stuff!



This stuff is amazing you guys. I remember in high school I would go to Safeway in the mornings a lot and pick up an everything bagel. I loved those damn things. And this right here, is the real deal. You put this on anything and whaaaaaboooommmm, it tastes just like an everything bagel. I have used it on everything from toast to chicken and even my eggs. You can’t go wrong with this!


  • Close Up Photography

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Ever since I got my camera (Canon Rebel t3i) a few months ago, I have slowly been learning more and more each day. I still have a long ways to go and so much more to learn, but I am really enjoying close up micro photos. Catching the tiniest details in a photo (like the little fuzzies on these tiny flowers) is a lot of fun to me and I can’t wait to continue to learn more.


  • Homemade Specialty Doggy Treats

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My pups are my kids and I spoil them like it. After discovering an adorable IG page of a lady who makes special homemade treats for her dog each day (click here to check out her IG page), I decided to try my hand at it. These are just coconut flour with water kneaded to make a dough. Then rolled in unsweetened coconut flakes. And finally topped with a sliced up strawberry. It was fun and the fur-faces loved them!



Ok this may seem silly, but I know many of us went through some sort of emo stage in our early middle school and/or junior high years. I know I sure did. And during that time I was obsessed with bands like MCR, Blink-182, Cute Is What We Aim For, Breaking Benjamin, etc etc etc. I recently discovered this playlist on Spotify and it brings back all the feels and music memories! I have spend so much time listening to the various artists and hearing songs I haven’t heard in forever! #flaskbackeveryday


Today will be just a normal Monday. A nice and early workout with Ryan, some chores and work around home, then off to the gym to train/coach for a few hours, back home for dinner, and then a relaxed evening. Remember Monday’s are just as good as any other day to chase your dreams and make your goals and reality!


YOUR TURN! What things have been your fave the last week?

Dog days of summer…

How has your weekend been so far my friends? Mine has been busy busy!

Yesterday we went to a new event in town called the “Dog Days of Summer”. We will get to that but first lets start with breakfast.

My day started with some eggs and a serving of Love Crunch granola. I have seen this stuff before but we finally bought some from Costco. It is organic granola with pieces of chocolate and freeze dried red berries. I ate it with some unsweetened almond milk and it was DELICIOUS!



After breakfast I got ready to carpool with my mom and meet up with a friend at the Dog Days of Summer fair. Basically it was a fair of sorts with all kinds of vendors handing out a shit ton of free samples for dogs. Everything from dog food to leashes to tennis balls and even free samples of doggy beer and wine. Our pups had a blast and made out like bandits!


This is just some of the freebies they got. Being the crazy dog lady that I am, it made me so happy to see so many other people just as obsessed with their fur-faced children. My girls got to meet lots of new doggy friends and they were pretty pooped by the end of it.

We then made a pit stop at the Farmer’s Market on our way home. I picked up some cherries, micro-greens, local beer, and some giant doggy bones that were only $5! The girls have been gnawing away at those things since we brought them home.

I was pretty hungry by noonish and so I decided to whip up some lunch for myself. I cooked up some ground venison and sauteed it with some shredded carrots, shaved brussel sprouts, and diced mushrooms. I cooked it all in just a tiny bit of olive oil and seasoned it with garlic powder and no-salt everything seasoning. It hit the spot!


Ryan spent the day riding yesterday, so the rest of the afternoon was pretty chill. I had puppy training with our Golden Retriever Luna. She was tired yesterday so she didn’t listen as well as she normally does, but we are still making great progress. She is a very good dog, her only issue is she gets a wee-bit excited when she greets people. She gets all jumpy and starts rolling over like a crazy thing. So we are just working on it.

I spent some of the afternoon looking through some gluten-free cookbooks that one of my amazing clients let me borrow. Ryan and I are going back to paleo eating as it works best for us. Plus gluten does not agree with me at all so getting some new fresh recipe ideas is great!


The rest of the night was pretty low key. Keep your eyes open for a delicious recipe that is perfect for summertime!

YOUR TURN! Do you have any paleo or gluten free recipes that you love?

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is just around the corner (next Sunday, June 18th to be exact). Many of us are known for being last minute shoppers and never knowing what to buy dad.

So I put together a little list of some of the best gifts for all kinds of dads. From sporty dads to outdoorsy dads to techy dads. Hopefully this list will help you find that perfect gift or help bring something to mind that you think the father figure in your life will love!



All dads love music. We have a portable  bluetooth speaker and love it for in the car, working outside, etc. This one is great because it is also waterproof! Great gift for any dad!



These Bose Sport Headphones are the best set of headphones I have ever owned. They are sweat and water resistant and the sound quality is amazing. Plus they last forever and Bose has an amazing return policy if anything ever goes wrong.


  • Car Detailing


This may seem random but I can guarantee any dad who takes pride in his ride would love this as a gift. Being able to have someone fully detail your car and you get to come back to it all shiny and new. You can hire someone for this or do the work yourself!



For the outdoorsy dad this is a great gift! For hiking or camping, this lightweight hammock would be so easy to take along. Plus it is made from industrial strength material and holds up to 500lbs!


  • Plan A Day Activity With Him That He Will Love


Whether it be fishing or going for a drive or seeing a movie, quality one-on-one time is always a great gift for dad. Make sure it is something he loves to do and plan a day around him. Better yet make it a surprise and show him how much you truly appreciate him.



This is for the saucier dads out there (get it?). A make your own anything kit is such a great idea. It lets dad get out his creative side and when it is something like make your own beer or hot sauce, he will enjoy the fruits of his labor when he is done! Plus he can share with others his fun creations!



Drones are all the rage right now. And for good reason. They make so many now with live feed cameras that take fun videos and can go just about anywhere. My dad got one and loves it. It has been so cool to see some of the fly over footage he has taken. This one is a great affordable option for that techy dad in your life.


  • Something Crafty & Handmade


You can never go wrong with a handmade gift. Whether it be a bottle opener like this one, a scrapbook, some framed pictures of the kids, coupons for things to help him out with, etc. Put some thought and time into it and dad will see how much he means to you!


I hope some of these ideas helped you out or you found the perfect gift for that dad in your life! Comment below and let me know the best Father’s Day gift you have ever given or received!

Why do we compare ourselves…

Oh the age old issue. Comparing ourselves to others. Whether it be our bodies, our relationships, our income, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, etc etc etc. We are always comparing our story to someone else’s; whether we like to admit it or not.

Now this may seem like a cliche topic, but no matter how many times we may hear it, I think it is important to hear it again. Below is a picture comparison of me. On the left I am standing normal, straight on, not posing or doing anything to make the shot more flattering. On the right I am posed and twisted just right, making the booty pop, flexing my upper body slightly, and playing to my flattering angles.


Do I prefer people to see my like I am in the left photo? Of course not. We all want to show off out best angles and assets. But does that make me any less beautiful, talented, worthy, strong, funny, or caring in the left photo? Hell no!

We spend so much of our time comparing our normal angles to other peoples “good” angles, that we forget we have good angles too. But our normal angles (this can apply to body or work or life or whatever) are just as amazing. You have worked hard for that angle. Of course it is okay to be proud of your good angles, you worked damn hard for those, but don’t forget that even the happiest or best looking people have normal angles too.

Self love is hard. We have to work at it. Our relationship with ourselves is just as important as our relationship with others. It takes work. It takes time. It takes love and nurturing and trust and respect. There are gonna be bad days. We are all going to look at some aspect of our lives at time and think, “but why can’t it be like this instead”? THAT IS OKAY! The biggest thing to remember is don’t let that mindset be your main one. Let those thoughts come and then let them go. Don’t dwell on it or overthink it. Accept it and the let it pass.

Sam (7)

So be weird. Be crazy. Be silly and fashionable and strong and hippie and tomboy and whatever the hell you want to be. But whatever you choose to be, be a good one.

Now go enjoy your Tuesday! And remember to love yourself at your normal angles and your good angles!

A to Z – Get To Know Me Survey

I have not done a survey on my blog yet and saw this one and thought it would be fun! So here is a quick and interesting way for you all to get to know me a little better! (: Enjoy!
A – Age: 24
B – Biggest Fear: Fish and disappointing others
C – Current Time: 8:00pm
D – Drink You Had Last: Finished off my gallon of water for the day
E – Easiest Person To Talk To: Ryan and my mom for sure
F – Favorite Song: Right now I am obsessed with “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons & “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez

G – Gnarliest Injury: Motorcycle accident in 2010. I was the passenger and the bike went down on the right side. Tore my knee open, dislocated (we think) my shoulder, broke a few fingers and bones in my hand, hairline fractured my elbow, slight concussion. Still have shoulder issues to this day….
H – Hometown: Wenatchee, Washington. Born and raised and still live here. It is the most amazing little valley surrounded on all sides by gorgeous mountains

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I – In Love With: Ryan….and my two furbabies
J – Jealous Of: People who make a living traveling the world
K – Kindest Person You Know: Definitely my mom…there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for someone if she can.
L – Longest Relationship: Going on 6 years ❤
M – Middle Name: Raylene
N – Number of Siblings: Only child over here!
O – One Wish: To be able to see as much of the world as I possibly can while I can
P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: Brianna (:

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Q – Question You’re Always Asked: Is that your natural hair color?
R – Reason To Smile: Right now would be that the weather is finally starting to feel like summer….but there are SO MANY reasons to smile
S – Song You Last Sang: “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons
T – Time You Woke Up: First around 5:30am when Ryan got up by I got out of bed around 6:05am
U – Underwear Color: Ummmm…..nude lol
V – Vacation Destination: Japan was so amazing. I want to go back to Nicaragua so badly. But I also want to visit New York, Paris, and Australia!

W – Worst Habit: Biting my fingernails. I know it’s a disgusting habit!
X – X-Rays You’ve Had: More than I can even begin to remember………
Y – Your Favorite Food: A big juicy burger or homemade pizza
Z – Zodiac Sign: Libra