Yesterday, my post-work plans got cancelled and for the first time in quite awhile, I had a free night. I had already finished up some freelance work in the morning, had no place to be and no errands to run. Cue excitement (silver linings of a shift in plans, right?).
So, I headed to Mission Bay, put on a good playlist and walked a few miles around the bayside path, watching the sunset and the small waves. It was really nice to tune out, watch the sunset and to ponder my thoughts with my phone away for a little while. Sometimes, the best epiphanies and ideas come when I slow things down rather than rushing between one thing to the next, from one assignment to the next. A little sweat never hurt either (I did a few sets of stairs along the path..and that combined with the humidity made it look like I actually took a dip in the bay - eek!).
Aside from this peaceful Monday night, here's what else I'm into moving into the remainder of the week:
1. Key's Creek Lavender Farm
On Saturday, I went to a wellness retreat at Key's Creek Lavender Farm. Though I was less than an hour away from San Diego, I felt like I was in a different world. The farm was located on acres and acres of rolling hills of lavender, geranium and protea - and yes, it smelled fantastic and relaxing and serene. We spent the day touring the farm, swimming a rose quartz water pool, meditating in a crystal labryinth, learning how to make essential oil products, practicing yoga and journaling and connecting with each other. I left feeling like I was in a totally different world and a totally shifted mental state of peace and bliss. It was magical. I can't wait to go back to the farm for some more lavender goodies and relaxation.
2. Exit West
I finished Exit West in one sitting on my flight to Nashville - and was filled to the brim with emotions. This book explores the effects of war and experiences of refugees as told through the story of two lovers in the Middle East. The author manages to blur the line between real and surreal - in a way that captures the current happenings in the world and paints a picture of a dystopian future. The book made me really think hard about what is happening beyond headlines...and definitely made me tear up multiple times. Page-turner for sure.
3. Moniker General
If I go to a spin class at Sparkcycle in the morning, it's pretty much guaranteed that I am going to stop by Moniker General next door for a cup of coffee. Moniker General is half-coffee shop, half-retail space. I'm obsessed with the store's aesthetic, decor and vibe - minimalist and gorgeous. Did I mention the coffee is divine? Yep, that too. My favorite drink here? The Viennese.
4. Sincerely, X
It's been a few weeks since I included a podcast in a Tuesday Ten, but we're back! I discovered Sincerely, X while perusing through iTunes' top podcast charts...and I am so happy I downloaded the first episode! Produced by TED and Audible, this podcast showcases talks from anonymous speakers who share their stories as victims, perpetrators, investigators and activists. The stories are incredibly powerful and moving and inspiring. So good.
5. Halo Top
I discovered Halo Top a few years ago after winning a contest with them on Twitter. I was shipped a big box of 8 pints of their newest flavor at the time (Chocolate Mocha Chip)...and I was hooked. This ice cream is low-calorie, low-sugar and high-protein. Seriously, each pint is typically less than 300 calories (perfect for my TV binge nights). But, the ice cream doesn't give up solid flavor and the creaminess of traditional ice cream. It's the perfect, almost-guilt-free treat to satisfy my sweet tooth. The brand just released a batch of new flavors - and I am into it. Oatmeal Cookie? YES. Tastes just like an iced cookie. Rumors have it that Rainbow Swirl and Candy Bar are next-level. Now to taste them...
6. Acai Bowls
One of my favorite parts of San Diego is the city's obsession with acai bowls. For those of you unfamiliar, acai bowls take acai berries and blend them into a smoothie bowl, often topped with granola and fresh fruit. It's refreshing and the perfect sweet treat (I clearly have a sweet tooth based on this list...), especially on a hot summer day. This weekend, I indulged at one at The Mad Beet in Pacific Beach - topped with coconut and almond butter. Game changer with the AB.
7. Vanderbilt University
U.S. News & World Report released their annual rankings of top universities earlier today, and Vanderbilt University (my alma mater!) moved up in rankings to place 14th on the list. I feel pretty proud (#humblebrag) that I went to a top-15 school! So, shout-out to the place with my best memories, the prettiest campus...and truly the best financial aid program. Go Dores!
8. Trader Joe's Peppermint Cinnamon Tea
I am a sucker for stopping by Trader Joe's new items shelf. This week, I picked up their newest tea: Peppermint Cinnamon. It's SO good - cooling and warming all at once. I've been drinking it right before bed as I read.
9. Bolt Brewery
I almost never head down to La Mesa, but this Friday, I made the drive down to meet up with a few friends at Bolt Brewery for pizza, beer and live music. The brewery is in a weird neighborhood, but the place itself was so cute - constructed of empty storage lockers. I had a mango beer and citrus IPA, which were refreshing during the warm evening. I can't wait to stop by their Little Italy location too (just a tad closer...).
10. Crown Point
As I mentioned, yesterday I took a walk around Mission Bay, starting at Crown Point. This spot along the bay is one of my favorite spots in San Diego. It's not crowded during the week, you can host bonfires, it offers a gorgeous view of downtown and really has some of the best sunrise views. It's one of my happy places.
What are you into this week?