Today, I'm writing this from the comfort of one of my favorite coffee shops in San Diego: Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. My office allows for three "wellness" days (aka mental health days), and after feeling incredibly stressed at work (and in my personal life - it's been go, go, go with not a lot of downtime...Mercury IS in retrograde), I decided it was time to take a day off for myself. So, I'm spending today writing, going to the beach, eating and cuddling with Walt - some of my favorite things - to reset my outlook.
Aside from taking the day to myself, here's what else I'm feeling this week.
1. Buju Tattoo
Last week, I added two new tattoos to my body (making the count 8 now!). I won't get into the meaning on here yet, but I opted to get them done at Buju Tattoo in Mission Hills, a spot I've frequented quite a few times. Brian Lynch did my tattoos this time around - and he managed to sketch out my very vague ideas into really beautiful pieces. Nothing but praise for every artist I've gone to at Buju. PS - who knew a tattoo on my thigh would actually really hurt?
Last week, I finally tried Beaming in La Jolla with my dear friend Lauryn during a treat-yo-self day (pedicures & Lululemon may have been involved...). This juice bar chain is known for cleanses, açaí bowls and guilt-free treats - and was absolutely adorable inside. I opted for a seasonal persimmon smoothie (subbing almond butter for protein powder...because sadly, I'm allergic to pea protein) - and was so pleasantly surprised. The smoothie was filling, not too sweet and the perfect thickness. I will be back to get my hands on that açaí bowl soon enough...
3. Love Actually
One of my favorite parts about Christmas is the movie Love Actually. Sure, I can watch it at any point of the year, but it feels right at Christmas. Weird, I know. The stories are all so beautiful - and it's hilarious and real. The story line with Jamie and Aurelia is my personal favorite. If you have not seen it, hop to it (and maybe add in some cozy blankets and hot chocolate).
4. Saje Wellness
If you know me, you know I'm super into essential oils. Lavender has always been in my anxiety-relief arsenal...and lately, I've added in a few other oils for pain relief, inflammation reduction, tummy trouble relief and apartment cleaning amongst other things. While I'm usually a DoTerra girl, my friend Lauren introduced me to Saje Wellness at an event that she spoke at. This Canadian brand produces dozens of natural wellness products, including oils. I was hooked immediately. They have some of my favorite blends (Peppermint Halo and Stress Relief), but I really love their sprays, including the Rose spray. A little spritz at my desk and I'm instantly more alert and refreshed.
5. Altitude Sky Lounge
Last week, I went to Altitude Sky Lounge to grab a drink and watch the sunset. The bar is on the rooftop of the Marriott in downtown San Diego - and sure, while it's overpriced because it's a hotel bar...the view is worth it. I got to look into Petco Park and across the San Diego skyline. I felt so small - and also simultaneously so in love with the city. The rosemary strawberry gin and tonic didn't hurt either.
6. Trader Joe's Green Goddess Dressing
Call me crazy, but I don't normally eat salads with dressing. I like to load up on a ton of veggies and usually just squirt some lemon juice and occasionally avocado oil on them. However, when I saw Trader Joe's finally introduced a Green Goddess, I had to try it. The dressing is made from avocado, green onion, lemon, chives, basil and garlic...and it's a game changer. I don't think I can eat another dressing again. So. Yum.
7. Harry's Coffee Shop
Two weeks ago, my dear college friend Hayley was in town visiting her boyfriend who recently moved to San Diego. The three of us met up at Harry's Coffee Shop in La Jolla for a reunion brunch. This diner is a staple of La Jolla - and is a good reminder that sometimes simple is best. Good service, good food, good coffee, good atmosphere. My favorite thing on the menu? The pancakes.
8. Modern Times
San Diego is the capital for craft beer - and as a beer girl, I love it. Last week, I stopped at one of my favorite breweries, Modern Times, to grab a drink and forgot how much I loved the North Park spot (there's also a location really close to my apartment in Point Loma!). I opted for Finally Open in LA, a hazy DIPA collaboration with Highland Park. So good - and I definitely want to go back while it's still on tap in San Diego. Did I mention Modern Times also brews coffee? Truly my dream: coffee and beer. PS - as a design geek, their packaging is amazing.
9. Baked Brie
Why is melted cheese so good? One of my big life questions. For a Christmas party a few weeks ago, I sliced up brie and apples and placed them in crescent rolls with pecans and a dash of honey. I tossed them in the oven for 10 minutes - and voila! Best appetizer ever. 10/10 recommend.
10. Polite Provisions
Last night, I met two of my best friends for happy hour drinks and a gift exchange at Polite Provisions (naturally with dinner at Cantina Mayahuel across the street beforehand). The Normal Heights/North Park bar is one of my favorites, but it was a special experience last night because it was chosen as one of 50 bars around the globe to transform into a Christmas-themed pop-up bar. It was kitschy, festive and fun - and I loved the seasonal drink menu. I opted for Fa La La La, a cocktail made of gin, aquavit, hazelnut liqueur, cardamom, vanilla, egg white, lemon and club soda. Sounds weird, but it was divine.