Life’s felt really good lately. I love my new job, I’m starting to pay off some bills that accumulated during unemployment and I’m finding a good fitness routine again. I’ve been reading a ton (and doing crosswords - see above), and I'm cooking new recipes (food = inspiration, to me). Justin and I have been growing closer by the day, and San Diego feels more and more like home as the days go on too.
Not everything is perfect (far from it), but life has been really nice lately, and I’m learning that it’s so, so important to express it and embrace it when it is. There’s nothing wrong or selfish or naive about it. Lately, all I know is: I’m happy.
Aside from feeling pretty happy lately, here’s what else I’m into:
1. Verve Studios
A few weekends ago, my friend Dana and I headed to Del Mar for the opening weekend of Verve Studios, a new indoor spin studio tucked in Del Mar Heights. We jammed out to solid tunes for 45 minutes while riding and dancing on the stationary bikes in KTB’s class - and left sweatier than ever. Not only was the class a fun (and challenging) workout, the entire studio was gorgeous. No detail was left unnoticed - from beautiful bathrooms to fun swag to crisp clean lockers. Next time I find myself in Del Mar, I’ll be stopping back in for a ride.
2. Momentum Generation
Justin and I have been having semi-regular movie nights as it’s been pretty chilly in the evenings lately. We recently opted to watch Momentum Generation, an HBO documentary that features surfing icons Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Ross Williams and Shane Dorian. The documentary told the unique story of their surfing community and brotherhood and how they elevated the sport. The entire film was shot so beautifully and told the story so well. I grew up surfing and idolizing Kelly Slater, so the story particularly hit home. Even for non-surfers, I highly recommend it.
While San Diego has been pretty chilly lately, we’ve had a few warm days sprinkled in here and there. Justin and I embraced the last one by pulling out a frisbee and heading to a nearby park to soak in some springtime sun for an hour or two. As simple as it is, frisbee is one of my latest favorite things. It evokes a sense of childlike joy and gets you outside hanging out with friends and loved ones. I was never great at it (shocking: I lack coordination), but I can feel myself getting better too!
4. Home Practice
I’ve been practicing yoga in-studio quite a bit less lately (adjusting to a new schedule + taking some time to rebuild my savings), so I’ve been pulling out my mat at home quite a bit more in the mornings. I have a pretty solid ritual around it: light palo santo or a candle, turn on a new playlist, set a crystal atop my mat and flow into whatever poses and postures my body craves. It’s been quite lovely to feel so attuned to my body and to practice in my own sacred space. Plus, it’s been giving me a bit of freedom to try out some poses I would otherwise be too nervous to try in class.
5. Pressed Juicery
A few weeks back, I went to an event that served up Pressed Juicery and was reminded how much I love this company’s products. I sampled a green juice and an almond milk blend, both of which were delicious and nutritious. A week later, I found myself back in their store (in the Fashion Valley Mall) craving a red juice since I was feeling a bit under the weather. Pressed Juicery’s juices contain no extra additives and sugars and taste great even when it’s straight vegetables. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I swear I felt better and reenergized a few hours later.
6. The Sun Does Shine
I had been on a pretty solid fiction train for awhile, but I picked up The Sun Does Shine recently and couldn’t put it down. This memoir tells the heart-wrenching story of an African American man falsely convicted under death row and his eventual freedom. While the book definitely sparked tears, it also sparked a sense of hope and power. It was absolutely beautifully written and an incredibly impactful perspective on racism, the criminal justice system, faith and humanity.
7. Thug Kitchen
As I mentioned in my Whole30 post, I’ve been steadily transitioning to eating less and less meat. One helpful resource along the way: my Thug Kitchen Official Cookbook. This book contains 100+ vegan recipes for all cooking levels, as well as information on eating on a budget and eating healthier and more mindfully. Everything I’ve cooked out of the book has tasted divine - and has convinced me that maybe one day I could become a vegetarian. My recent favorite recipe? The Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Squash Enchiladas.
8. Casper Pillows
In the last two months, I’ve pinched a nerve in my neck…twice. Two too many times. I’ve been trying every trick in the book to avoid waking up with a sore neck and a tingly arm and back, including ordering new pillows. I splurged and opted for the Casper Pillow. It’s been just a week - and I think I’m their new biggest fan. This unique pillow-in-pillow situation is supportive, soft fluffy and breathable (aka you’re always on the cool side). The pillow is constructed to provide neck support and spine alignment - just what I need. I’ve been sleeping soundly…and feel like quite the adult when I get so excited over a pillow.
This weekend, two of our friends came over for a rainy afternoon board game day. They brought over Codenames, a game based on guessing, word association and strategy. I love a board game, and this was no exception. The game was fun, challenging and perfect for a set of four people. I think we may have to invest in it to have around for future game days…
10. Mike Hess
On Friday, Justin and I headed to Mike Hess Brewing in North Park for a celebratory beer. Justin opted for a flight, while I settled on a special release - PNW, a hoppy and piney IPA - as we chatted among the production tanks. Between the string lights, the food truck, the hum of conversation and the good beer, I’m always a fan of this North Park tasting room. For our game day the following day, we opted to get Mike Hess’ Grapefruit Solis since we were still loving the brewery from the night before!