I am so excited for this week. I can hardly contain it!!! I'm celebrating my birthday, I'm seeing My Favorite Murder live and I'm visiting my old roommate Alex in Atlanta...and I have PTO. I couldn't be more thrilled for this "birth week."
Aside from my tizzy of excitement, here's what else I'm feeling this week:
1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park
On Saturday, I visited the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to do a "scavenger hunt" as part of my ongoing orientation to volunteer at the zoo. I had not been to the safari park since I was probably under the age of 6, and I honestly did not remember it at all, so I was stoked to have the opportunity to go and explore. The grounds were beautiful (albeit, hot...104 degrees on your feet all day can really take a lot out of you), and the animals were all out playing. My favorite exhibit? The lions (elephants came in a close second, this time around). Bonus: I got to see the bitty tiger cub that was rescued from the border. The only bummer part? Since I got a new phone this weekend (finally, it works!!), my photos of these critters are still living in the Cloud somewhere that I can't access.
2. True Food Kitchen
My department headed to True Food Kitchen at the Fashion Valley Mall last week for a team lunch. I was surprised I had never been before because this health-conscious restaurant was right up my alley. I opted for a sparkling antioxidant tea and a salmon teriyaki quinoa bowl, filled with carrots, bok choy and avocado. So much yum. I can't wait to go back and try all of the other items I was eying on the menu.
3. Nason's Beer Hall
On Friday, I went to a happy hour for a good cause (more on this later...) at the Pendry Hotel's Nason's Beer Hall, a German craft beer bar. I loved the sports bar vibe and the outdoor patio that had corn hole. But, I was mostly impressed with the good draft selection. I opted for a peach ale (pretending it's still summer...) and an IPA. Yum!
4. Julian, California
I was supposed to visit Las Vegas with a group of friends this past weekend for an early birthday party, but between some last minute cancellations and the recent events in Vegas, we opted to raincheck. But, determined to still make something of the rest of the weekend, I hopped in the car with two friends and visited Julian. We walked along the cute main street, nommed on some famous apple pie and visited a pumpkin patch. While it was no Vegas, it was still fun to spend some QT with these girls. Plus, between the weather and leaves changing, it actually felt like fall in Southern California. Who knew you just had to drive an hour outside the city...
5. Demistifying Natural Health & Wellness Interview Series
My sweet friend Jennifer launched an interview series this fall that features 21 strong women dropping knowledge about the field of natural health and wellness. I was honored to be featured on the list and talked a lot about my journey with yoga and meditation and mindfulness in the process of recovering from my hip fractures. Check it out here - and subscribe to the rest of the series here!
6. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
I love fall for so many reasons, but one of my primary reasons is pumpkin-flavored everything. It just doesn't taste the same year-round, I swear. One of my coworkers shared her new favorite pumpkin treat from Trader Joe's, and I am hooked! Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds are pepitas treated with butter-sugar and then seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. They're so tasty - and I will take the added sugar for how good they are. It's the perfect fall snack.
7. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
As I mentioned, the happy hour at Nason's was for a good cause. My friend Kellie threw a fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in preparation for the PurpleStride Walk on Sunday. Kellie's father passed from pancreatic cancer, and she has raised money for the group for years. This year, she was the #1 fundraiser in San Diego, and I am so proud of her for getting the word out about this underfunded form of cancer.
8. Crazy, Stupid Love
On Saturday, I had two dear friends over for some wine, chatting, cheese...and a rom-com. We opted for Crazy, Stupid Love, which I hadn't seen in a few years. I forgot how much I loved it. It's the perfect amount of real, cringe-worthy awkwardness with perfect romance. Such a good gem. PS - Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling should just be in every movie together. The end.
9. MLB At Bat App
If you know me at all, you know how baseball obsessed I am. One major bummer though? I don't have cable. So, unless I'm at a bar or can stream the game online, I can't keep up as well as I'd like to. Cue the MLB At Bat App. I can get notifications of major game movements, see replays, access game stats, you name it. Perfect for post-season. I'm rooting for the Indians (for a long list of reasons) - how about you?
10. 100 Things You Love About You
I really believe you can't love others until you love yourself. I say that, but so often, I'm caught in crippling self-doubt and self-loathing. My negative self-talk can get dark and scary really quickly. So, when one of my favorite podcasts That's So Retrograde challenged listeners to write down 100 things they loved about themselves (and only 20 could be physical), I thought this would be the perfect exercise to combat some of this negative self-talk and realize how many things I do like about myself. While 100 was a lot and it took some time, it was the perfect reminder. Right now, the list is hanging up in my bathroom, so I can always look at the mirror and remind myself how grateful I am for all of my unique traits and abilities. I challenge my friends to do the same thing!