This weekend, I’m heading up to Northern California for a quick getaway with Justin. All we have planned: hike, read and sample some solid coffee shops. I could not be more excited for a relaxing weekend spent outdoors in a new place. But, it’s making work admittedly a little difficult to focus on this week!
Aside from that excitement, here’s what else I’m currently feeling:
I love a chip. So, I was thrilled when I recently discovered PopCorners - a healthy alternative to greasy potato chips that still satisfies my salt and crunch cravings. PopCorners use popped non-GMO corn and sunflower oil. Yes, that’s it. My favorite flavor? Sea Salt. Snacks for days.
2. Re-treating yo’self
This Saturday, I headed out to the mountains for Mosaic Yoga’s first day retreat. We spent the day practicing yoga, meditating, conversing, eating yummy vegan food and hiking. It was the perfect time to disconnect from my phone (I took zero pictures, so I have to credit this one to Mosaic!), see some dear friends and meet new people, and breathe in the fresh air. It was a nice reset after a busy week of work.
Last week, my best friend Emily came to town to visit. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year - yet it felt like we just fell right into sync all over again. It was so lovely to have her be a part of my world in San Diego, if even just for four days that passed far too quickly. Long distance friendships are really, really difficult and can feel really isolating, but the reunions are worth it. All in all, I know I’m just very lucky to have found “my people” in Tennessee. (And, now I’m crying.)
4. Ocean Swims
Last Sunday, I celebrated my birthday with a hike, ocean swim and coffee. It was basically me in a morning. After nearing the end of our hike (the trail leads to the ocean), I ran into the ocean for a quick dip. I swear there is nothing more invigorating and refreshing than jumping into the ocean. The water makes you feel alive and whole and part of something bigger. Call me crazy, but I truly believe that ocean water has healing, revitalizing powers like nothing else.
5. San Diego Zoo
On my actual birthday last week, I spent the first half of the day at the San Diego Zoo. While I volunteer at the zoo monthly, I haven’t gone as just a guest in quite a while! The San Diego Zoo is world-renowned for its huge collection of plants and animals (in a huge place - we didn’t even walk the entire zoo in a few hours!). But, more importantly, the zoo is known for its extraordinary commitment to saving species around the world through animal care and conservation science. If you know me at all, you know how much I love animals (truly more than people), so this is huge for me. Bonus: when we visited last week, we were lucky enough to see baby leopards playing!
6. Modern Times
I continued the birthday celebrations after the zoo at Modern Times, one of my favorite local craft breweries that focuses on session-type beers (aka my favorite style) and is known for their innovative branding. On my birthday, I opted for Fruitlands - their sour gose. I’m not typically a gose drinker, but it was perfect. Best part? Their tasting room is walking distance from our house (and next to one of my favorite taco shops in San Diego!).
7. Sunset Cliffs
While I love living in North Park now, I do miss my original Ocean Beach abode from time to time. One of the things I miss the most? My previous proximity to Sunset Cliffs. I took Emily to catch a fiery sunset from this Ocean Beach/Point Loma hotspot and was struck by the sheer beauty of it all. While I don’t live as close to catch them once a week like I used to, I’m making a point to head over to this neighborhood more often.
8. Country Archer Jerky
Jerky is one of my favorite snacks to keep on hand in my hiking backpack. It’s high in protein and typically doesn’t have a lot of additives like protein bars. My jerky of choice lately? Country Archer. Country Archer uses only 100% grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free turkey. The rest of the ingredients are all real and all organic - no chemicals and ingredients you can’t pronounce. The jerky is slow cooked too, which makes it a easier to chew than other brands! My favorite flavor by far is Mango Habanero. Spicy and sweet is a winner.
9. Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Spirals
While San Diego may not be totally in tune with the four seasons, my body somehow feels the transition. Point-in-case: I’ve only been craving in-season produce lately, including butternut squash. I picked up some Trader Joe’s new Butternut Squash Spirals last week to incorporate into my breakfast, and it’s a game-changer. The spirals are great when they’re seasoned savory, but I love them sautéed with just a touch of cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup. It’s the perfect side to fried eggs in the morning. Cue: me, drooling.
10. Lee from America
Lee from America is my latest blog/influencer obsession. This 20-something blogger based in Los Angeles talks everything health, wellness, food and travel. She inspires me with words of honesty and moments of total realness, provides so many good recipe ideas and cracks me up with her dancing videos on Instagram. Did I mention she curates monthly playlists on Spotify? They’re my perfect in-office jams.