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Scenes from Saturday

parks

Saturday morning began with my last long run before the La Jolla Half (which is already next Sunday!).

I began and ended my run at my favorite spot ever, Mission Bay Park.

mission bay park

My 12-mile route took me through one end of the park, along a bike path into Crown Point, along the boardwalk on Mission Bay, along the other boardwalk along the Pacific Ocean (in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach), back through PB and back to the park. I honestly love this route so much, because I feel like it gives me the opportunity to see so much of the beauty that San Diego has to offer, and the change in scenery keeps it interesting for me. The other thing that keeps it interesting? The people-watching opportunities. Both of these boardwalks–primarily the one along the Pacific–are full of tourists, and watching all of those people keeps my mind busy and helps the run fly by.

pacific beach boardwalk

After my run, I headed back to my house and enjoyed a delicious protein smoothie and took Maeby to the park. I knew we wouldn’t be around most of the afternoon so I wanted to make sure she got some exercise.

A couple of hours later, Adam and I met up with some friends and spent the afternoon in Balboa Park, which was the first time either of us had been there.

It was crazy busy, because, you know, it was Saturday afternoon and the weather was beautiful, and we spent several hours walking around and popping in and out of a couple of museums. We also found out that on certain lawns of the park, you are allowed to drink, which would explain why some people were picnicking with wine and snacks, and which is also something Adam and I plan on doing in the future.

Some photos from the day (which don’t really do the park justice):

balboa park

balboa-park-2

balboa-park-4

balboa-park-5

balboa-park-6

balboa-park-7

We are definitely planning on heading back in the coming weeks, as there is a really great exhibit we want to go see at one of the museums and we don’t want to miss out on it.

After a few hours of walking around, we said goodbye to Adam’s friends and headed to University Heights to grab shrimp and fish burritos at El Zarape. A full review of this place will come some other time, but if you’re in the area, I recommend stopping by. Definitely the best burrito I’ve ever had.

Overall, it was a great Saturday spent doing things I love–running, eating good food, and spending time with good people. Can’t complain about that.

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It is always now.

life quotes

I’m going to back-track to 2012, when I left my first job out of college and went back and forth about moving to New York City. It’s always been a dream of mine, and I still hope I end up there one day. I had roommates lined up and was ready to sign a lease for a beautiful apartment in lower Manhattan, but it didn’t feel right. I was worried about timing and ultimately decided it wasn’t the right time for me, so I put that dream on hold and stayed in Connecticut for another couple of years until I ended up in San Diego.

Naturally, it worked out, because it always does.

Fast-forward to this past October. I was applying for jobs that were 3000 miles away in San Diego. A whole bunch of jobs. And as much as I wanted to make the move and take this big of a step, I wondered if the timing was right and if I was making a terrible mistake. I talked to a ton of friends, including Brenna, who had made a significant move across country within the year prior, and you know what? She’s doing just fine. Life is good. I also talked to my brother, who moved to Los Angeles (without a job, friends, or an apartment) the summer before. And guess what? Everything worked out.

In the end, the response I always got and what I realized was this:

There will always be reasons to not do things. There is never a right time to do something. Now is the time and it’s the right time. And things will work out because they always do.

I can tell you from experience that this is the truth. It is said so often, it’s so cliche, but really…there might not be a tomorrow, so why wait to do things, why find reasons not to do things, why wait for the right time? Now is the time.

I leave you with a video that another friend sent me when I expressed my fears and doubts. It really affected me and changed the way I thought about things. And hopefully, it’ll help someone else too.

It is always now. However much you feel you may need to plan for the future, to anticipate it, to mitigate the risks, the reality of your life is now. This may sound trite  but it’s the truth….as a matter of conscious experience the reality of your life is always now.

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Restaurant Review: Oscar’s Mexican Seafood – Pacific Beach

restaurant review

In case you live under a rock, last week, the UConn men and women basketball teams each won their NCAA championships. On Monday night, Adam and I ventured to Pacific Beach to meet up with some of our friends who conveniently happen to be from Connecticut (one town over from our hometowns, actually).

emerald street

The plan was to meet at Shore Club for drinks and the game, but Adam and I opted to get Mexican food beforehand at a taco shop a few blocks up.

We parked next to The Promenade and PB boardwalk* and needless to say, even if we weren’t going to PB to watch the UConn game, it was a really nice walk to the restaurant – you’re literally walking along the ocean until you get to Emerald Street. Then you take a quick turn and Oscar’s is about a block over.

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood

746 Emerald Street, Pacific Beachoscar's mexican seafood ext
Menu
 ▴ Website ▴ Yelp

I’d like to preface this by saying that I was super hungry and distracted by thinking about the UConn game, so I didn’t take any photos. So, the photos I’m sharing are from the aforementioned Yelp listing/website (and are linked accordingly).

The place was quiet (it was a Monday evening, after all), and we were able to walk right up to the counter and order. After looking over the menu, I decided on a smoked fish taco and skirt steak taco, and Adam ended up with the battered fish taco and shrimp taco.oscar's mexican seafood int

We sat ourselves at a table near the window and in less than 10 minutes, our food was ready.

At your table, you’ll find multiple kinds of hot sauce, as well as what tasted like a spicy ranch and a chipotle ranch. You’ll also find napkins, which you’ll need. The tacos (as you can see below) each come in their own little tray, which makes eating them a little less messy.

There’s a reason this place has 4.5 stars on Yelp, and close to 100 reviews. To say these tacos were incredible would be an understatement. The toppings were fresh, the flavors were all there, the tortillas were light and were made on the spot. The tacos and tortillas also weren’t greasy or heavy. Adam and I each had two and we were satisfied when we finished, and didn’t feel heavy, overly full or bloated, which I’d say with Mexican food, is a win. The sauces that were available definitely added to the tacos, but even if you don’t use them, you won’t be missing out.

We are definitely planning on coming back here for the .99 fish taco happy hour, Monday-Thursday, 2:30-5:30 pm.

And with the beach (and beautiful Pacific sunset) literally just a few steps away, I can definitely say that an evening stroll on the boardwalk, followed by tacos at Oscar’s and drinks at a bar nearby, would make a really fun and affordable date night.

The verdict? Would Will definitely eat again.

oscar's mexican seafood

* Pro tip: According to the official San Diego website, yellow zones are commercial loading zones only between the hours of6:00 am-6:00 pm (with the exception of Sundays and city holidays), unless otherwise posted. We parked against a yellow curb and didn’t get a ticket.

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Do Something Nice for Someone Today

life

do something nice for someone today

This past Sunday, Maeby’s nails needed a trim, so I drove to the Petco around the corner. I’d been putting it off for over a week, even though it’s a two minute drive away, and after laying around most of Sunday, I decided it was time to stop being so lazy.

As we approached the doors of the grooming section of the store, I stopped and let Maeby sniff around. I noticed an older woman holding her small dog, who was wrapped in a towel and clearly very old. She pointed to Maeby and asked her dog if he liked “the big dog” and we exchanged smiles. As Maeby continued to sniff around, I noticed the woman was kneeling, with her dog struggling to stand on the grass in front of her, and I heard her sniffling. As I looked more closely, I noticed she was crying.

I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate, as in our culture today, I’d argue many people don’t want to be bothered. But this woman seemed very upset, so I asked if she was okay, and began walking over with Maeby. She then told me that her dog was scheduled to be euthanized later that day, as he wasn’t eating and wasn’t able to stand, and she had just taken him into Petco to look at the cats, since he used to live with cats and loved them. I offered the woman a hug, which she accepted, and we continued talking about her dog, Pepe. I told her stories about Oscar, and did my best to comfort her. Even Maeby, who is usually out of control (it’s really embarrassing sometimes, actually), sensed something was going on and was very gentle with this older dog and sweeter than usual to this woman.

When we were done talking, we had exchanged names and a few more hugs, and she seemed to genuinely appreciate that I stopped and asked if she was okay.

The point of this story is this: Go out of your way to do something nice for someone today. It could be as simple as holding a door open or buying coffee for the person behind you at the drive-thru. And if you’re not sure, put yourself in that person’s shoes and imagine how you’d feel if someone did that same nice thing for you.

I promise you, you won’t regret it.

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Skincare and Keratosis Pilaris

product review

Today we are talking skincare.

I have always been super insecure about these red and white bumps on my upper arms, which tend to get better when I’m tan, and worse in the winter. In middle school, my doctor told me it was dry skin, but Google told me otherwise. It’s actually a genetic condition called keratosis pilaris.

Unfortunately, as my dermatologist explained, since it’s purely and aesthetic condition and there isn’t any long-term cure for keratosis pilaris, the only option is to find a short-term solution that will improve the way your skin looks and feels. Techniques and their results vary from person to person, but I’ve tried using an aspirin paste/scrub, tea tree oil, and changing my diet. The aspirin paste kind of worked, the tea tree oil didn’t work at all and even if it did I likely wouldn’t have continued using it because of how strong it smells, and changing my diet only helped a little bit.

There are two products I’ve been using over the past few months, however, that have made a big difference…

seacret salt and oil scrub and body butter

Seacret Salt & Oil Scrub and Seacret Body Butter. The whole concept behind Seacret is that it’s made from minerals from the Dead Sea. Whether or not that is actually true, I have no idea. But I can tell you that it has worked for me and helped tremendously with the KP.

I use the scrub in the shower, using small circling motions over my arms, and after I get out of the shower, I use the body butter. I also love the way this stuff smells, so that is an added bonus.

Seacret also sells other products. I’ve used the nail buffing block, which I loved, and I’ve also used the hand cream with shea butter. But in my experience, the body butter is the best moisturizer out there, including for my hands, which tend to get very dry and cracked in the winter.

I know these products are expensive, but if you have KP this may be worth a try. And if it doesn’t work out, the scrub and moisturizer both smell so good that in my opinion they’re worth it.

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DIY Painting

DIY

On a whim (or actually because Adam’s friend is coming to visit this weekend and we still had nothing on our walls), I decided it would be a great idea to make my own painting, considering I’m so artistic (I’m not).

I did a little googling and decided on this idea (their tutorial is very helpful), so after a trip to the dog park, I stopped at Michaels and got everything I needed for this project. PS – Michaels is having a huge sale on canvases right now…like I got a pack of 7 canvases for $9.99.

I got home, and laid everything out, and began painting.

I bought the canvases, four colors of acrylic paint (red, yellow, blue and white), a palette, and some paint brushes (which ended up being the worst brushes I’ve ever used because they kept “shedding” onto my beautiful artwork…either that, or I’m just incompetent, which is probably more likely).

diy painting

Painting #1 done.

diy painting 1

Put your tape in a pattern (like above).
Also, check out that creepin’ dog in the background.

diy painting 2

Paint where the tape is not covering.

diy painting 3

Peel off paint and put on display.
Also, become a fan of the Red Sox.

diy painting 5

Or a different pattern and different paint.

diy painting 6

Admire.

I swear it’s super easy and it’s a lot of fun to just play around. All of the materials I bought ended up being around $25, so I didn’t really care how it all turned out and with my low expectations, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I like everything.

So that, my friends, is how you can create some artwork all on your own.

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So, that just happened.

Miscellaneous

Maybe it’s how much I’ve been enjoying running lately. Maybe it’s that I wanted to do more races when I moved out here.

I’m not sure what it is, but with some encouragement from Adam, I did it. I signed up for the La Jolla Half Marathon, which will be at the end of April.

Definitely not expecting a PR. Not even close. I’m just hoping to finish and feel good. I think it is going to be a nice reminder of why I used to run races all the time.

My first race in California. Here’s to hoping it goes well!

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Resurrection

Miscellaneous

I’m known for watching bad TV shows. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Maybe I am.

Every now and then, I start watching a show that is respected by others, and spoiler alert: Are You The One? on MTV is not that show I’m referring to. I’m thinking more along the lines of Breaking Bad, but also a show that I was hesitant to watch because it seemed kind of depressing and also maybe slightly misguided–by that, I mean, I wasn’t sure how it could keep me engaged and I certainly wasn’t sure where they would be able to take the show.

But last night, with nothing to watch, Adam and I opened up Hulu and there it was: Resurrection. So, we started watching and needless to say, they got me.

I’m sure by now, everyone has at least heard of the show. Prior to its series opener, I heard ads for it on AfterBuzz TV podcasts and heard my favorite radio show talking about it. Then once it premiered, I heard a lot about it. People liked it…a lot.

In case you haven’t heard of it, the whole premise of the show is that people who died come back into the lives of their loved ones, the interesting thing being that time has gone on for the loved ones and the person who comes back looks exactly the same as they did when they passed away, even if that happened 32 years prior. And then of course, writers revealed that just like in real life, those who come back don’t always have good motives. And that’s where they get you. After the second episode, I was left wondering whether or not one of the men who came back was actually the one who had passed away, or if he was some guy that happened to look the same. And if he is the right guy, then why is he so creepy and why does he seem so bad? I’m interested to see what they will do with his character.

Then of course the show raises a thought-provoking question: What would you do if someone you loved that died came back into your life? Certainly we’ve all lost someone we loved; death is a very real part of life and living. So what would it be like if that person came back and how would we respond? Would we question it? Accept anything because we’d be so relieved to have that person back in our lives? It’s really kind of crazy to think about.

And so, here we are, two episodes in, and I’m ready for episode three. I’m excited for it. And now I can proudly state that I’m watching a show that is socially acceptable for a 25 year-old to enjoy. Teen Mom 2 also isn’t one of those shows, but Resurrection is.

Is anyone else watching?

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Sunday Morning Ramblings

life

So…once again, it’s been awhile. You know, I really thought I’d be all over the whole blogging thing once I moved and had things to write about, but in actuality I’ve just been living. Crazy, right?

In retrospect, I would’ve written about The Bachelor from day 1. I would’ve talked about how I thought Juan Pablo was completely fake, and how I felt like everything about him seemed forced and fixed for television…everything from his accent to his relationship with his daughter to the fact that he was looking for a wife. Of course, I didn’t write about it (or anything for that matter, see above), but if I had, everyone would’ve told me I was crazy for thinking that way and there was a reason why America loved him so much and why he was chosen to be the next Bachelor. Then, as the season went on, I’d continue to say this stuff and people would begin to see it and then I’d get to say “I told you so,” kind of like I did in real life to Adam and my coworkers.

Speaking of coworkers, work is good. Like…really good. Like…I got really lucky that I was able to find a job that is so perfect for me before moving out here. I just had my three month review. Stop and think about that for a second. I’ve already been living in San Diego for three months. Which is crazy but kind of awesome. My review went really well and they seem really happy with me, which is great because I’m really happy there every single day. My coworkers are awesome, the company is really incredible and I’m passionate about the kind of work we do, and the work I do on a day-to-day basis is something I thoroughly enjoy. So yeah, the whole job thing is definitely a win.

You know what else is a win? Life in general. Living with Adam has been really great, and I think it has exceeded both of our expectations. And don’t even get me started on how happy Maeby is. She is (unsurprisingly) my baby and her happiness comes before anyone else’s (Adam included, and he knows this). To say she’s happy is probably an understatement…

We go hiking, we go to the beach, and we go running a few times a week. It’s crazy to think that a year ago, I was living here…

…which is really beautiful as well, don’t get me wrong, but now I’m living here…

Life is crazy, it really is.

What else have I been up to?

Trying to make friends. This is obviously really important and really hard once you become a real-life adult out of college, but my goal is to do at least one social thing a week (usually weekends, and usually more). So like last night, I went to my friend’s house and hung out with her and a few other people. The week before, I went out for another friend’s birthday. It’s hard but I’m trying.

Running! It’s beautiful here…the weather and the scenery. So, I’ve been trying to take advantage and I’ve actually been making a conscious effort to get back into the whole running game. Once I’m doing it regularly, I love it, it’s just getting me to the point where I’m doing it often. This past week, Maeby and I ran 4 days, for a total of 22 miles. It felt great, just ask Maeby. Yesterday I also bought new running shoes (Brooks, for the first time ever), so if I like them maybe I’ll write about them.

Working. Work is busy and traffic sucks, so it’s usually 10-hour days total (with work and my commute), but I’m not mad. It’s kind of awesome.

I suppose that’s about it for now. I’m currently sitting in our backyard. Adam is still asleep, the sun is out and bird are chirping around me, and Maeby is eating sticks.

Life is good, and happy Sunday!