life · photos

This Week in Review: August 2, 2015

Well, this should probably be more of a “these past four months in review” but hey, what are you gonna do?

So what have I been up to since March?

photo 1

My favorite people in the whole world came to visit.

dog in birthday hat

Maeby turned 3. I love this picture and I love this dog.

connecticut trees

I headed back to Connecticut to see family, friends, and celebrate my grandmother’s 99th birthday.

A week later, I had to go back during one of the hardest moments of my life.

dog san diego beach

Upon returning after my second trip to Connecticut, I spent a lot of time focusing on myself. Time at the beach with Maeby definitely helped.

houston skyline

I headed to Houston for work.

del mar sunset

Caught some amazing sunsets while my mom and her boyfriend were in town…

torrey pines san diego

Hiked Torrey Pines with them…

petco park at night san diego

Caught a Padres game at Petco Park.

rain in san diego

Survived a pretty epic thunderstorm in San Diego and the first real rain storm we’ve gotten in a looooong time.

dog adoption event san diego

And met this handsome guy while volunteering at an adoption event.

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Obviously this isn’t all that I’ve been doing, but definitely some highlights. I’d say over the past few months, there have been some incredible lows and some very incredible highs, but overall, everything has been good.

I’ll get into the details of life’s lows a little later on, but for now, I want to know:

What’s been the highlight of your summer so far?

dog things · fitness · photos

This Weekend in Photos: March 13-15 – Running, Volunteering and Jazzercise

Friday

Friday evening after a crazy work week, I met up with some friends for dinner and drinks at Eureka in UTC. It was great to catch up and spend some time with some of my favorite ladies, and everything we got was delicious. If you ever end up there, I highly recommend the truffle cheese fries. Yes – they are as good as they sound.

Saturday

I woke up early and took Maeby to Mission Bay Park for a nice and easy run.

misson bay san diego park

mission bay sd

It was quiet when we first started, but within ten minutes, the path got kind of crowded due to a St. Patrick’s Day race happening at the park. Maeby did so well though, despite the crowds and the noise, and we finished our short run all smiles.

dog enjoying sunshine

Saturday afternoon, I volunteered with a local dog rescue.

Per my new year’s resolutions, so far this year, I have spent a good amount of time determining what makes me happy, and finding a way to do more of that. Knowing that all of these dogs are in foster care and if I can help get one adopted, it means another dog somewhere gets to leave the shelter, is incredibly rewarding. It doesn’t hurt that I literally just pet and play with dogs for a few hours. I started volunteering every Saturday about a month ago, and it’s the highlight of my week.

dog named toast

second chance dog rescue

second chance dog san diego

second chance animal rescue san diego

All of these dogs are available for adoption (and they’re all so, so sweet!), so if you or someone you know might be interested in making a new best friend, please let me know. And if it’s not one of the dogs pictured here, we have many more of all breeds and sizes, so again, feel free to reach out if you’re in the San Diego area and are interested.

san diego night sky

Saturday evening, after running a few errands, I caught a beautiful sunset on my way home, and spent the rest of my evening taking it easy with Adam, watching bad reality TV and Tina Fey’s new show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Sunday

I tried out a new-to-me exercise studio in the college area (La Mesa, right near SDSU).

la mesa jazzercize

I had never tried Jazzercise before, and I’m sure my perception of it was similar to what your perception probably is…but real talk? It was SO much fun. I’ll be sharing a full review of my experience in a few days, but if you’re in the San Diego area, definitely give this studio a try, and if you’re not, try and find a studio near you. It was such an energized and fun class, and I would totally recommend this studio to any of my friends.

The workout was definitely a good way to start out my day, especially since later in the afternoon, a few of our friends came over to watch some hockey and barbecue.

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I also wanted to note that I’ve shared this post through Running ‘N’ Reading’s Weekend Update! As always, thanks for hosting!

How was your weekend and what was the highlight of it?

photos

The Weekend in Photos: January 9-11 – Night Running, Barre3 UTC and Cowles Mountain

I’m excited to be sharing my weekend in photos through the Weekend Update Link-Up with Running ‘n’ Reading!

It was my first full week back at work since mid-December, and it was a stressful one. There was so much to get caught up on and I had my annual review (which went really well!), so I was ready for the weekend when it rolled around.

Friday

night run san diego

My first run in awhile, but I had a nice 4-mile night run with Maeby. We ran down to the canyon by our house and back up a gnarly hill, but it was a perfect way to wrap up a crazy work week.

Saturday

cowles san diego review

cowles view

dogs cowles san diego

cowles mountain san diego view

Took a barre class in the morning, as part of the Barre3 challenge I’m currently taking, and then met up with my friend Addi (a friend from college who lives out here now) for a hike at Cowles Mountain with Maeby. I’ve hiked this before when my friend Caitlin came to visit, but hadn’t done it since. Saturday afternoon was in the 60s and sunny – basically, it was the perfect day to get out and moving.

Sunday

barre3 utc

Another morning class at Barre3. After Saturday’s hike, it was pretty tough, but as always, a great workout.

rain in san diego

Unfortunately, it rained all day Sunday, so I spent the afternoon indoors. After running errands and grabbing breakfast with Adam, my friend (who just got a dog) came by for some dog playtime and a little bit of training.

The rest of the day was spent reading and taking it easy…which, let’s be honest, rainy days are perfect for.

And with that, I’m ready for another crazy work week. It’s already Tuesday, meaning we’re not too far away from the weekend!

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How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

 

los angeles · photos

New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles

Adam and I, and our friends Myles and Kayla, drove up to LA on Wednesday afternoon. We got up there before all the traffic and early enough to take it easy and nap before a fun night. Our friend Mike hosted a party, and we ended up spending most of our night there, and then watched the ball drop at a different party in West Hollywood. It was a fun night and I’m excited to see what 2015 brings.

Happy New Year, everyone!

new years eve 1

new years eve 6

new years eve 2

new years eve 7

new years eve 3

new years eve 4

new years eve 5

race recap · running

Celebration Run San Diego – Half Marathon – Race Recap

Earlier this year, my friend Caitlin informed me that 1) she wanted to come visit me in San Diego, and 2) she wanted to run a half marathon while she was here. By August, she had already booked her flight and signed up for the race, which left me scrambling to sign up too. So I did.

But then, as it often happens…life got in the way. I threw out my back one Sunday I was going to do a long run (and spent all day laying on the couch on top of a heating pad), I spent two weekends traveling to and from the UK for work, friends and family came to visit…and so my training didn’t really happen. I went into this half marathon completely unsure of how I would do – and also a bit nervous, since I had trained for the La Jolla Half and injured my IT band/struggled on that course.

And so, when Caitlin arrived and told me she hadn’t done any legitimate training either, I felt a little better.

On race morning, as we sat eating our toast with peanut butter, we asked ourselves why we were up at the ass crack of dawn and why we were doing this silly race that would take us way longer than we expected and during which we’d be miserable.

And yet, just a few hours later, and we were smiling ear-to-ear, happy to have completed the race and have run along such a scenic course.

I’ve always heard people say that when they ran X race, the miles “just flew by,” and yet I’ve never actually understood that, because even for races I’ve been extremely well-prepared for, I’ve spent a lot of it asking myself why I was only at a certain mile, or why time was moving so slowly.

During this race, though, I got it. The miles actually did fly by and I’d say it was because 1) I had zero expectations of myself, and therefore didn’t stress out over my pace or effort, and 2) the course was just so beautiful.

This course was one of the prettiest I’ve ever run (though La Jolla and Newport, RI still hold the top spots).

Here are some photos from the course, courtesy of Caitlin:

The start line…

celebration run san diego start

From the course…

celebration run half marathon

celebration run san diego

celebration run san diego sign

celebration run san diego half marathon

celebration run san diego mile 13

The finish line…

celebration run san diego finish

Here’s what I loved:

  • The course. It was absolutely beautiful, taking you through parks, along bike baths, over bridges and by Mission Bay.
  • The volunteers, and the resulting number of (very efficient) water stations. The volunteers were awesome – not only were they on top of handing out drinks to everyone (and had what seemed like an endless supply of water and gatorade), but they were very good about specifying which table had which. There were probably water stations every 1.5 miles or so.
  • The start/finish. I love when races start and finish in the same location; it makes it easy to plan your morning and post-race transportation. Not only this, but the police (and race organizers) did an amazing job. We had no issues getting to the start of the race (we left at 5:45 am for the 7:00 am start, and had time to hang out on the beach for almost an hour before the start), and leaving was easy and carefree. I’ve never been able to get to or from a race as easily as I did for this race.

Here’s what I didn’t love:

  • The out-and-backs. Not ideal, and it seemed like there were a lot of them. The course map confirms this. The one thing I will say about these are that they kept Caitlin and me going when we wanted to take a breather; we knew we’d be passing each other at some point which kept us going so we’d be running past each other. And they also helped because at a couple of different points we were able to cheer each other on, and even high five.

The finish line was on sand, and they announced most people as they came in and cheered everyone on, and the finish line had tons of cold water and gatorade, in addition to bananas, ritz cracker sandwiches, fruit snacks, oranges, and granola bars. There were also a good number of vendors at the finish, but we didn’t stick around to check any of them out because we wanted our much-deserved brunch.

At the end of it all, neither of us were disappointed with our times (we were actually pretty happy about them!), and we were happy to have not died on the course or have fallen in the sand at the finish.

Overall, I’d say it was a win. And even though I know that I don’t have to convince Caitlin to come back to San Diego, running this race next year might be something we’ll do again together and something that’ll make her want to come back out here (because the abundant sunshine, beautiful beaches, and Maeby aren’t enough).

celebration run san diego beach

attractions · dog things · friends · photos

This Weekend in Photos: October 10-12 + 17-19

Here’s what my last two weekends have looked like…

Two Saturdays ago, we drove up to Los Angeles for the engagement party of Adam’s friend. It was a lovely evening with great people!

engagement party

On our way back from Maeby’s overnight boarding…

funny dog picture

Last Wednesday, I went to paint night with my friend at Pinot’s Palette in Liberty Station. I’ve only been to one other location in San Diego, and I much preferred this place! They had an assistant who helped us, and a bartender who went around throughout the class to see if we wanted drinks. And I’m a big fan of Liberty Station, where there’s a Stone Brewery, Trader Joe’s and Slater’s 50/50. I will, for sure, be back at this location soon for another paint night.

paint night

I got Maeby a brand new toy. It lasted a total of an hour.

funny dog pictures

Morning glories on an evening walk…

morning glories

Korean BBQ with Adam at our favorite, Mapo.

korean bbq

We got Maeby a Halloween costume. She’s going to be a pirate.

dog pirate costume

And last but not least…

Adam and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the San Diego Zoo. We have annual passes (which weren’t much more than the cost of daily admission), so we got to go in for free! And we avoided the ticket lines, which was great because I’ve never seen the zoo so busy.

tiger

elephants

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I also got some exciting news from work last week…

They’re sending me to our office in the UK for a week! After that, I’m going to take two days to go back to one of my favorite cities in the world: London. I studied abroad there for a semester when I was a junior in college, and I’ve been dying to go back ever since but didn’t know if I’d get the opportunity to go any time soon. I feel so lucky (and honored) that my work thinks my skills are strong enough to go engage in conversations and share my opinions with the higher ups at our company headquarters, and fortunate that I am able to take an extra couple of days to return to London.

Life’s been busy, but it’s been good!

dog things · friends · hiking

This Weekend in Photos: September 5-7

Brenna came to visit this weekend, so I took Friday off…so I had another long weekend, which I can’t complain about (though it will be the last one for awhile!).

We spent our weekend hiking Iron Mountain, paddle boarding in Mission Bay, eating lunch at my favorite park, watching dogs surf and eating delicious food.

Friday

In the morning, we drove out to Poway to hike Iron Mountain. Reviews on Yelp said this place gets busy on the weekends, so we decided to do it on Friday, while most people at work. Yelp also warned that this hike is intermediate, and lacks any real covering/shade, so it can get really hot.

I was excited to do this hike because it’s pretty long, has over 1,200 feet elevation gain, and is dog-friendly! Anything that tires Maeby out makes me happy, and she was excited to explore a new area.

iron mountain san diego

dog hiking iron mountain san diego

top of iron mountain 2

It definitely got very hot out (and Maeby wholeheartedly agreed), so I’d recommend if you’re planning on going out there to go out on a cooler day, or go earlier in the day.

I’d also recommend that even if it is hot, you do this hike, because the views up top were completely worth the ~6 mile roundtrip trek.

top of iron mountain 1

top of iron mountain san diego 1

top of iron mountain 3

top of iron mountain san diego

top of iron mountain san diego photo

(photo courtesy of Brenna)

After our hike, we headed to Clairemont Coffee, where Brenna purchased her first Acai Bowl. No pictures of this, as we got them to go, so they weren’t super photogenic. But, 10/10, would (and will) eat again.

In the evening, we drove out to Pacific Beach to enjoy tacos at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, and catch the sunset.

oscars mexican seafood tacos san diego

san diego sunset pacific beach

We wrapped up our day with a low-key night in, made possible by Yogurtland.

Saturday

No pictures of paddle boarding, or of lunch. But here’s a picture of Mission Bay Park.

mission bay park

We headed to Mission Bay Sportcenter to rent out paddle boards for an hour. Since we knew it would be busy on a Saturday, we made reservations in advance for noon (to ensure we’d have paddle boards available to us), but we didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to find parking. After driving around for 25 minutes, we finally managed to grab a spot.

Paddle boarding was definitely something I’d do again. We enjoyed it, but the problem we had was the amount of wind we experienced. We ended up getting carried out pretty far into Mission Bay, and though I was able to paddle back to shore where we picked up our boards (after 25 minutes of effort and struggle), Brenna and my other friend had a hard time getting back and had to stop off at a shore that was on the other side of where people would pick up the jet skis or boat rentals. Staff at MBSC weren’t happy about that…but we weren’t the only ones that had this issue. As we waited in line to get out paddles, we heard one woman telling the front desk that her friend had gotten taken out really far into the bay and after trying for a half hour, she had made no progress and was unable to get back to shore. I’d return to MBSC, but would hope that they would be aware of wind conditions and help people out a little more, or at least give some kind of warning and encourage people to be aware of where they were paddling to.

Saturday night, Adam, Brenna and I grabbed dinner at Hinotez, more froyo (why not?), and watched Naked and Afraid. I’d say it was a quality evening.

Sunday

Brenna and I woke up early and drove up to Del Mar Dog Beach for the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon (which I highlighted on Friday).

surf dog surfathon hwac

That’s Brenna’s picture again. It was hard to get photos but we loved watching the dogs surfing, and also enjoyed checking out the vendors. One vendor I was especially impressed with was Dogly, an new app where you take and upload pictures of your dog (and add fun stickers or text), and shelters/rescues of your choice have a chance of receiving donations based on the number of “likes” your photo gets. It’s still a little glitchy (I think the woman said they will be finalizing the app in the coming days), but I definitely plan on downloading it.

After the Surf-A-Thon, we headed back down to my house, where we picked up Adam and drove down to OB to get brunch at Wonderland. Any excuse to eat there is always welcome.

wonderland ob brunch

We made a reservation beforehand, which helped a lot because it was packed since it’s officially football season. I strayed from my usual order of pancakes and went with the eggs and enchiladas, and I have zero regrets. Good food, sangria, and an ocean view? Can’t be beat.

The rest of Sunday was spent taking it easy (it was really, really hot out), a trip up to the beach in North County (once it cooled down)…

san diego beach pacific ocean

san diego beach

…baking some blueberry nut bread for work tomorrow, and a quiet night in.

Brenna left this morning but it was so, so good having her visit.

Now it’s back to reality and a pretty crazy work week…

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How was your weekend?

Did you see dogs surfing? Or sweat excessively due to the summer heat? Spare no details.