Between the recent hurricanes, the state of the social conscious (i.e. people caring more about NFL players taking a knee than devastated areas) and the shooting in Las Vegas, I've been feeling pretty dismal lately. I've been struggling to reconcile my knowledge that living in the US is great and offers more freedoms than most countries...with my hatred of status quo and current events.
So, this week, I'm trying to focus on love and volunteering (because, taking action is way more necessary than swapping out your profile picture). I don't know what my mindset change is going to do...or what my simple volunteering and donations can bring on...but I hope that with a concerted effort, it can help. I urge you all to find a way - call a politician, donate, give, petition.
And, while this list feels non-sensical in a time of tragedy, I am trying to find small joys. So here's a few:
1. El Cajon Mountain
This weekend, I hiked up a trail I'd been aiming for for quite awhile: El Cajon Mountain (aka El Cap). It was my own mini "Wild"-esque adventure....hiking alone to do some deep thinking and to find myself in the midst of everything else going on in life. It was one of the most challenging hikes I've ever done (no joke - uphill both ways...and with a giant tarantula that crossed the trail with me), but with some of the most rewarding views. I can't wait to go back...and beat my time.
2. The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project has been one of my favorite shows for years, and it's finally back on Hulu for its final season (BOO!). I relate to Mindy's character so much (and wish I had her wardrobe...), it's hilarious...and it's honestly only become funnier over time. I'm still holding out for Mindy and Danny to get back together...
Last week, I was hired to model for the Port of San Diego. It was a pretty sweet gig - and entailed spending a lot of time out in the sun and wine-ing and dining with friends. One of my favorite parts of the modeling job? Sailing along the bay overlooking the city's skyline. I'd never been sailing before, and feeling the wind carry the boat across the water...well, it's a feeling that was too good for words to describe. I can't wait to hop on a boat again.
4. Park & Rec
On Friday, I hit up happy hour at one of my favorite San Diego bars, Park & Rec, with a few new friends. The University Heights bar is half-indoor bungalow, half-outdoor patio with tons of games and beautiful art to boot. Plus, they make a mean mule. While the bar doesn't serve food, they allow you to bring in from the dozens of places just up the street (I recommend the hole-in-the-wall Thai cafe). Can we make Friday happy hour a recurring tradition here? Yum.
While I generally eat a pretty healthy, clean diet, I don't believe in totally eliminating certain foods. Pizza is my particular weakness. Prior to my hike on Saturday, I knew I needed to carb up...so I opted for a Hawaiian pizza from Domino's. Sometimes, nothing beats a "crappy" and cheap pizza. That garlic crust though...
6. i carry your heart - e.e. cummings
Last week was honestly hard for me - on so many levels. Mostly, it was the 9th anniversary of my dear friend Paige's death. While things get easier day to day, I somehow always wake up on the day of feeling off and really subdued. This year was no exception. I've written so many things about this beautiful friend of mine, but I'll keep it short this time around: thank you for inspiring me to be bold and brave and daring and independent and fearless. Mostly, thanks for teaching me to be a great friend - not a fair-weather pal. I hope I can carry your spirit in my heart. PS - hey, look, here's the meaning behind the tattoo on my ribs. I don't love to explain it because it brings up some pretty heavy memories.
7. Nuun Energy
On a lighter note, while on my hike this weekend, I was fueled up by Nuun Energy, a caffeinated hydration tab that I love. Nuun skips all the crappy added sugars, is made from plant-based ingredients and gets straight to the point. My favorite flavor? Lemon-lime.
8. Bumble & Bumble Straight Blow-dry
Some people care about makeup. Some people care about clothes. I care about my hair. It's my favorite way of expressing myself - and I'm digging a short cut I recently cut. Despite the short length, my hair is still thick as ever and can be a total pain to style. Bumble & Bumble Straight Blow-Dry constantly comes to my rescue. The product tames and smooths my hair before blow-drying...and leaves it smelling wonderful. A little pricy, but so worth it for the salon-style blowout you'll get.
9. Key's Creek Lavender Bath Salt Soak
On Sunday evening, I took a soak in the bath to read...and to rest my sore muscles from Saturday's hike. I dropped some of Key's Creek Lavender Bath Salt Soak in the water for pure relaxation. Between the epsom salts working on my tired muscles and the pure lavender essential oil that left my entire bathroom smelling divine...it was heaven.
October is always my favorite month: it's my birth month, Halloween and the start of fall (if you were in Tennessee, that is). This year, I'm so excited for what October brings: a trip to see my old roommate Alex, a trip to see my work bestie Katrina, adventures in Julian and at the safari park, some fun hikes and Halloween! Did I mention pumpkin everything? Yep, that too.