I have traveled to a different city on a different plane almost every week this year, so I’ve had my fair share of experience dealing with airfare bookings. If you have a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees: you’re in luck. If you don’t, time to get one! Read More
It’s officially pumpkin season, and I couldn’t be more excited to make these scrumptious pumpkin bites! It’s always hard trying to curb those sweet-tooth cravings, especially when you’re an athlete in training… but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a cheat day! It’s a treat with no added sugar (no brown/white sugar/stevia) and made with natural ingredients (well–minus a few chocolate chips), so how can you resist?! Using oat flour (simply blending oats in a small blender to get a flour-like consistency), natural honey, and a few more ingredients, these pumpkin bites are my go-to little treat for fall.
(I’ve had this post stashed away for a bit– my June recap)
After a good couple of weeks traveling through the Southeast of the U.S., and one doubles title later, my 3 week journey ended in Baton Rouge. Usually I don’t spare any time for touristy attractions or any sight-seeing (besides the roads from the hotel to the club), but this time in Baton Rouge was different.
It was just a couple of hours after my singles final in Heraklion, Greece, when I hastily began to pack my clothes to jet off to Croatia. While staying another week in Heraklion could have been an easier choice, there were better circumstances in the $15k Tučepi tournament in Croatia. One of my best friends from Finland, Emma Laine, was set to go to Tučepi, and we had agreed to play doubles there with each other. In addition, Emma took on the side-role of a coach for my singles matches, which is always helpful when you’re traveling to tournaments abroad. Despite running into some difficulties with an injury, and an early start to my singles than I had planned, Emma and I captured the doubles title and had a terrific time while doing so.
When I’m planning my tournament schedule, there are some things I consider: location (how easy it is to get to), tournament weakness, Schengen Area/Visa requirements, price of the hotel/accommodation, my potential roommates, and how cheap the country is in general. When planning my 2-week tournament schedule, the tournaments in Heraklion, Greece caught my eye. I have never before been to an all-inclusive tournament at a resort, and at first, I was skeptical. For 67Euros per night, I received superb breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, easy access to a Supermarket located within the resort, pools, a gym, beaches, and it was only a brisk walk right to the courts from my third-level room. At first, it sounded too good to be true. But to my surprise, this was an exceptionally well-run resort right on the beach, and I had a wonderful roommate to share the experience with. Although the tournament ran into plenty of rain delays, plus adapting to some interesting “clay” courts, I was able to get my first title of 2017.
While my tournament in Gonesse couldn’t have been more of a disaster, my bonding time with my mother on her first trip to Europe was a success. After a week in Helsinki and a weekend of club matches, I decided to play one tournament in a big city, so my mom could take in all the sights and sounds of Europe in her short 2-week span vacation. I chose Paris– it was close enough to Helsinki & easy to get to, with its charming avenues and alluring historic landmarks calling our names. Read More
My January schedule landed me in Central Florida, where I started my 2017 professional campaign in two events. I always love the start of a new year, a new beginning, a fresh slate; to prove to myself that I am made for this career. The two events that I played were the $25k Daytona Beach event and the $25k Orlando event, and unfortunately due to my wisdom teeth I couldn’t compete in the third event in Wesley Chapel. Clay is one of my favorite surfaces, because creativity and athleticism really flourish on this surface. There’s backspins, topspins, slicing and dicing, drop-shotting, weird angles and jumps mixed in with scrappy sliding to chase after shots. Points are long, physically grueling, and so very rewarding. There is no easy way to win on clay, and that’s what I love about the dirt!
Although I had to cut my Florida trip short, it was a great couple weeks of wins and losses (yes- losses are okay!), and learning experiences. Here are some of photos at the event the last 2 weeks:
I’m very excited to recover quickly from my wisdom teeth surgery and train hard for the next 2 weeks before my next $25k events in Surprise, Arizona and Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
If you have ever been to the Netherlands, you know that the reason they bike so much is because of ALL the decadent food they have to burn off. Ranging from sweet pastries and pancakes, to savory appetizers and special sausages, a trip to Holland for a foodie will not disappoint.
I’m a big believer in treating yourself during a long day of travel, especially across continents. Whether it be a nice Swedish massage, manicure/pedicure, or indulging in delicious meals at a nice restaurant, making yourself feel good in foreign airports is a *major key*. For me, I really enjoy checking into a comfortable and affordable lounge, specifically the No.1 Lounge, during my international travel days. The best part: you don’t have to be an exclusive credit-card holder or hold elite status with an airline! It is for everyone. With unlimited snacks, drinks, savory hot meals, devilishly decadent desserts, and couches to sprawl out on, you can’t go wrong with a reservation at the No.1 Lounge.
This week, my tournament schedule landed me in Macon, Georgia. The hometown of Mercer University, where the tournament is played, is full of wonderful families, historic preserved houses, and local shops and bakeries to keep our stomachs full. In between matches and post-match, my body is always looking for fuel. Although I am currently at a tournament, and aiming to eat healthily, I am – after all- in the South. Known for their comfort food and hearty recipes, I HAD to indulge in some good ol’ Southern cookin’.