Making a Curtain Call


I have a major problem.
I've wanted these vintage orange honeycomb curtains from La Gypsy Yaya for months. And I've been wanting to switch out the living room curtains (above, left) for months. This past Sunday I finally went for it and bought them. When I picked them up today, I almost tore the box open (and by almost, I mean I totally did). 

The curtains are GORGEOUS in person.Everything I dreamed they would be. I love the way light filters in through gauzy vintage curtains like these. But something is wrong. I don't know if its the white voile curtains behind them (that are necessary so everyone stumbling out of the bar all night can't see directly into our living room), the curtain rod, the orange on peach walls, the fact that they're on the rod via the rod pocket (maybe I'm too used to hanging curtains - should I get curtain rings for them?), the center panel and/or lackthereof, the way they lie flat, I... don't... know. What I do know is that something's off and I'm too OCD about stuff like this to let it go. Did I mention I really like these curtains? How do I make them work? 


Talavera Plates


source: 1

In my kitchen, we only have two plates. Seriously. There's plastic and paper plates for quick snacks and parties, but there are only two dinner plates from Anthropologie. The reason that I've been so lazy about buying more dinnerware is because I want an eclectic, durable collection of bright and unique patterned plates. Also, I never want to have more than two that match.

I'm not in a rush to find them - I want to only get ones that I love. And for years I didn't know there was a term to describe my favorite type of plate. That is until today when I stumbled upon the word on (where else?), Pinterest: Talavera plates. They are gorgeous and unsurprisingly, super expensive, at least online. So if you know where to get them for cheap, please share!

Pro tip: You can find these plates a lot easier if you google "Talavera plates" instead of "mexican-y dishes." #learnfrommymistakes

Inspiration: Surf Store Decor


ola para siempre, queensland, australia | source: 1 

A LOT of the inspiration I have for interiors comes from the way surf shops are styled. The entire 60s coastal boho vibe is exactly what I hope to do with our space at home. I love natural wood accents like crate displays or exposed beams. I love vintage surf photos and other ocean-themed art. I love the incorporation of plants and the contrast of colors. Whether it's meant to feel cozy and eclectic or laidback and minimalist, I am always inspired by the detail that goes into these stores. West coast to east coast and beyond, here are some images from surf shops that have inspired me lately!

surf bazaar, montauk, ny | source: 1

seaworthy surf, carlsbad, ca | source: 1

mollusk surf shop, venice beach | source: 1

drifter, bali, indonesia | source: 1

Motivation Monday: Back to Bikram


************Don't forget!! There are only hours left in my Runner's Raffle! Enter here!************

Bikram. That word probably makes my boyfriend and friends cringe whenever they hear me say it, knowing the testimonials and lectures and overall gushing praise that follows after it. People often say that bikram is like a cult and there are plenty of parodies that make fun of Bikram yoga. Well, I'm here to tell you that there is truth to all of it. It really is as ridiculous as the parodies make it seem. And I am a proud and occasionally obsessed cult follower. 

So seriously guys. Let's talk about Bikram. 

Now that the marathon is over, I don't want to lose the momentum that I gained during my training. Weight-wise, I plateaued around Week 9/12 and at this point, running would be maintenance but nothing more. More importantly, it wouldn't do anything (much) for my core, which is the next thing I want to concentrate on. Which is why, a week after crossing the finish line, my summer of Bikram began. I finally signed up for unlimited auto-renewal membership at my studio instead of yoga-ing along sporadically with whatever Groupon and LivingSocial deals were available. 

The last time that I went to Bikram regularly (3-4x/week), I lost about 10 lbs and never felt better in my life. If you don't know what Bikram is, let me explain by telling you what it isn't: 
  • It's not an ancient practice. Bikram is named after the man who created it, Bikram Choudhury, in the 1970s. 
  • It's not "hot yoga" - yes, the room is heated but this is very different than going to a hot yoga class at your local studio. 
  • It's not something that just anyone can teach - Bikram studios are franchises that Choudhury gives licenses to and instructors have passed intensive teacher training that he leads for two months each year in Los Angeles. 
  • It's not something that requires you to be flexible or have any kind of yoga experience. Until Bikram I had never once in my life been able to bend over and touch my toes and I had never taken a proper yoga class or done a single downward dog. 
  • And it's not something that only young, hot vegans and celebrities do - on any given night in my studio, the age range is from 15-75, the male to female gender ratio is 1:1, and the body type ranges from the giant Chargers players that drop in to the lithe stereotypes you've heard about. 

For the next three months, my goal is to get to class a minimum of three times each week. Just like with marathon training, my Motivation Monday posts will now consist of me confessing my successes and obstacles in this new self-imposed fitness challenge. My first two classes back last week were pretty standard for me as far as whenever I start back up again after a long sabbatical: lots of savasana and feeling nauseous. But hopefully, as I keep going, I can share with you just how much of a positive impact Bikram has on my life and my health and all of the positive things that made me fall in love with it! Have you ever tried Bikram?

6/10/13 - 6/16/13 Health and Fitness Stats: 
  • went to 2 bikram classes
  • lost 1 lb



buy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

I didn't like the way I looked in hats for a looooooong time. And of course now that I have embraced fedoras, I can't stop shopping for them. Here are a few of my favorite summery finds, including a couple from my wonderful neighbors and fellow San Diegans, The Village Hat Shop

Backing Up Your Instagram Photos


A few months ago, a friend shared one of the most anxiety-causing status updates I've ever seen on Facebook: Instagram had permanently locked her out of her account. She had done nothing wrong and to this day still doesn't know why and hasn't been able to access her photos from that account. Maybe someone hacked her account and abused it or maybe someone accidentally reported her for spam or maybe this was just a glitch that Instagram hasn't worked out yet.

Whatever the reason, I was terrified because I'd had my phone stolen last year and so the photos that I had on Instagram were more or less the only photos I had left from 2011-2012 (let's not talk about how I should have been backing up iPhone photos to my computer...I've learned my lesson). The thought of losing these as well was too much!

At the time, I searched but somehow could not find any app or service that would back up my Instagrams. I started the painstaking process of logging into my Instagram account online and screenshotting since you can't right-click and "Save As." And so every time I had a little downtime, I would take a few moments and save a few more. Yeah. Seriously.

a few of my 2011-2012 favorites: the spruce street bridge // coaly and me, months before she passed away :( // moving into the sunset house

Frustrated with this epic project, I decided to search again yesterday for a website that could do this for me, positive that I had missed something. As you can see from the screenshot at the top, I obviously had. Instaport is a magical website that will export your entire Instagram library to a .zip file so that you can back up your photos on your hard drive or cloud service. It'll even filter photos that have a certain hashtag (great way to export all those hashtagged wedding or party pics from your friend's accounts into one folder!) or pull photos from a certain time span. And somehow it's been around since .... April of last year. But I digress. Better late than never. Besides, I'd only made it through saving the low 200s of my 1400+ photos, so I'm not complaining.

I feel so relieved to have a backup copy of my Instagram shots in case something ever goes wrong with my account or I want to start all over. Apparently there's also a paid service called SocialSafe that will pull information from all of your social media networks (think: Facebook photos and Pinterest pins) and sync only the updated information regularly for around $7-28 annually, depending on the number of networks you have. I'm sure there's tons more. Do you back up your social media? If so, what service do you use?

My Summer To-Do List


Brewer, Banjo, and their friend Barkley during our group picnic in Balboa Park //  Ryan and I aboard The Privateer //  Common dolphins during our sunset cruise // A DIY success! Painted the pot, macrame-ed the hanger and install a ceiling hook for our Goldfish Plant // 3D tiger art made entirely out of beer bottle caps on exhibit at Gelato Vero // Post-marathon BBQ in the backyard :)

I still can't believe it's June already! It's been a beautiful, busy spring so far in San Diego and even though I've been mostly tied up in training, work, and school, we've still managed to fit in quite a bit of fun stuff: a Devendra Banhart concert, a sunset cruise around the Bay, watching all four seasons of Arrested Development (well, almost - a few episodes to go!), a couple of home improvement projects, some BBQs, some disc golf, a little dog beach, a little dog park, a picnic at Balboa and lots of froyo runs in place of bar nights. Now with the marathon out of the way and my class winding up, summer is almost here and I'm ready to make the most of it!

My ever-growing summer to-do list is in addition to my overall 2013 goals, most of which are still in progress. These are the things that have come up throughout the first half of the year or that are summer-specific.
  1. Bedroom remodel! Time to settle on a shade of turquoise and start painting! Bedroom remodel post here!
  2. Spend a lot more time in the hammock. 
  3. Ride bikes down to the bay and have a bonfire picnic. 
  4. Run at least 1 half marathon (any suggestions in SoCal?).
  5. Raise $1500 of my $2300 3-Day fundraising goal. 
  6. Cook 1-2 new dinners each week. 
  7. Bikram my butt off until I've lost 8lbs.
  8. Go camping at San Onofre with the dogs.
  9. Day trip to San Clemente. 
  10. Get the @SanBriego follower count up to 1,000! Done! Broke 1,000 on 7/18/2013!!
What are your plans for the summer?

Runner's Raffle: Medal Display and Spartan Race Entry!!!


I'm so excited to host my first raffle in support of my 3 Day 60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk for Breast Cancer this fall! Both my maternal great-grandmother and grandmother lost their battle with breast cancer before I really had a chance to get to know them and I've watched several friends and co-workers battle the disease. Supporting this cause is so important to me - so much so that I'm willing to essentially complete 2 full marathons in 3 days to raise money for it. And really, come on... who doesn't love boobies!?

Over the course of the next five months, I will be hosting several raffles in support of this cause. For my first raffle, I'm super amped to give one lucky winner a 2 prize combo pack: a race entry to ANY Spartan race in the country and a medal display (pictured above) for all of your racing medals! You don't have to donate to win, but I sure hope that you'll consider it. The combined cost of the two prizes in this package are over $150! For a small donation, even just $10, you'll have a better chance of winning while supporting a great cause.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The race closes in two weeks and the winner will be announced then. But if you don't win, don't worry! You still supported a great cause! For that, you deserve a 15% off code for any Spartan Race you decide to do. With races all over the country, including a few here in Southern California, the Spartan Race is a fun opportunity to cross-train, appreciate your running in a new way, and do a race that's a little different and more exciting. I hope that you'll check it out! And please be sure to check out Running on the Wall as well, as they were so generous to donate a new medal display for this cause!

Motivation Monday: Running My First Marathon


I did it! Three months of training all came to an awesome end yesterday as I completed my first marathon. I can't believe it's over. Since it might be my first and only full marathon, I want to remember every detail. Get ready for a marathon of a recap!

Last week was terrible. I mean, the stress of race day was overwhelming. I really did not feel prepared AT ALL and when I ran what was supposed to be one of my last 3 runs, a 5-miler on Tuesday night, my body felt TERRIBLE. Particularly my quads. The next day they both hurt, but my left quad felt like it was ready to snap. I made the call then to skip my last two runs and go back to bikram instead.When the bikram class seemed to hurt more than help, I started getting really nervous about getting injured or pulling something before or during the race. Then, I started to think back about all the running and cross-training I should have done during these past 3 months. I had 2 18 milers and 3 20 milers in my training plan and of those 5 long runs, I only did 1 of each. I started to get even more panicky as the week went on.

But the expo Friday night helped calm my fears a bit. Getting into the expo and feeling the excitement and seeing the crowd, I realized that no matter what happened, this was going to be a great experience. The expo encouraged this realization in a couple of ways. One, there were so many people from out of town visiting my city to run. It made me proud of San Diego and I thought back to my first visits here and how exciting that was. It doesn't take much for me to get a renewed sense of appreciation for this amazing city.

The second thing that the expo did was put the size of the race into a visual reality. Aside from the Disneyland Half, this has to be the largest race I've ever been a part of. After the Foxy Trail Half last month, which only had about 200 runners, I was so grateful for the sheer volume of runners: there were 9,000 marathoners registered (though it looks like only 6500 finished). I'm not fast by any means (my planned pace was 11-12 minute miles) and since my only goal was to finish, I really didn't want a repeat of Foxy where it was a bunch of speed demons and then me crawling across the finish. Luckily, the Rock N Roll was nothing like that. There wasn't a single pretentious marathoner in the bunch, or at least, in my bunch. It was just a bunch of runners looking to have a fun race in America's Finest City!

The night before the race, I was too nervous to eat. I forced down two slices of pizza and somehow managed to fall asleep around 9:30pm. Surprisingly, I slept well and woke up to my first alarm at 4am ready to go. I took a shower to wake up, got dressed, drank some Nuun, ate a Clif bar, pinned my bib on and headed out the door. It was so dark out but the second I walked out of my driveway and onto the street, I was met with about 50 people setting up a water station right in front of our house! It was really happening!


I called my dad on the east coast and talked to him while I walked the mile up to Balboa Park where the starting line and racing village were. It was nice to be able to walk to a race and not worry about traffic or parking or getting there on time. In the park, I saw more people than I have ever seen in Balboa. 30,000 total runners were registered for the half and the full marathons, and there were tons of volunteers. I was also surprised to find water and breakfast tents with bagels and bananas for the runners. I've never had that at a starting line before.

I had about an hour to go before the marathon began, so I checked my gear bag, grabbed a banana and headed to the grass to eat and stretch. When they started calling marathoners to the corrals 45 minutes later, I think I walked over like I was walking to my death: I must have looked terrified. I moved into the second to last corral and stood there full of emotions. When they did a moment of silence for Boston and then sang the National Anthem, I lost it. I felt like such a dork when I started to cry, but thankfully I wasn't the only one. Soon enough my corral was at the starting line and we were off. I made the decision then not to listen to music or use my Nike+ because I was worried about my phone battery making it to the end of the race. Going rogue without GPS was probably one of the best decisions I made about the race.

The race itself was GREAT. For one thing, we couldn't have had better weather. It was overcast and a cool 60° degrees the whole time. I have never been so thankful for June Gloom. The first 9 miles were all roads I've run before while training which was great. We started out in Hillcrest where we had some hilarious spectators dancing and cheering for us. Then we moved through downtown and Petco Park into Little Italy where we passed the 10k mark. The tunnel on India Street was decked out in lights and was one of the coolest parts of the race, both literally and figuratively. As we got closer to my house, I was so excited to see Ryan. I was also surprised by my friend and neighbor Anjali and her pup Bauer who came out to cheer as well! Ryan had a sign for me painted on the back of the truck and after a quick, sweaty hug, I was back on the road. I passed by our house a little earlier than when I'd planned on it, which meant that I was running 10 minutes miles - not too fast to worry, but worth taking note.

The next few miles took us through Old Town and up Morena Blvd over to Mission Bay. One of my favorite water stations was the faux Margaritaville set up around Mile 10. Heading into the Bay was a relief, because I've trained and raced there and love running by the water. I crossed the half marathon mark there at 2:29:55 and made a quick bathroom stop once I saw a Porto Potty with no lines. Then I raced on to Mile 15 where I  told myself I could finally walk. I should mention now that my race plan was to run straight through to Mile 15, walk to 16, run to 20, walk to 21, and then see how to handle the last five miles once I got there. A random spectator with pizza handed me a slice at the start of my walk through Mile 15 and it was definitely a highlight of the race.

With pizza in hand I walked through Bay Park to Mile 16 then starting running again on my way back up Morena Blvd into Fashion Valley. I got to Mile 19, right in front of the mall and before the 2 miles on the 163 Freeway and my body suddenly quit. I jogged over to the Medical tent, downed some Advil and sat and stretched on the grass for at least 5 minutes, probably more. When I finally stood back up, I knew that I was walking the two miles to Mile 21. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Almost every single person around me stopped running when we got on the freeway and it was obvious why. The 2 mile stretch didn't have any spectators, was uneven, and uphill. It was a good time to walk. Not for the juggling marathoner though: one runner ran by me juggling three balls high in the air as he completed the marathon!

I started right on the exit off of the 163 and about 200 feet later, my friend Maria came out to run with me! I could have cried I was so happy to see her. Maria ran a marathon in China over the Great Wall and has run the Rock N Roll San Diego before. She also happens to be one of the best people I know. Running with her made me realize how much I miss having someone to run with. I haven't really had that since Cross Country in high school and I think it totally changes things for me. My two miles running with her gave me a second wind as I headed from Hillcrest to North Park and suddenly I was flying. When she left, I finally put on some music and the obvious choice was Ke$ha's Warrior album. I've trained with that for about 90% of my runs and it completely re-energized me. I took off and started running 9-10 minute miles for the last 3.5 miles of the course. Coming down towards the finish line, I was so full of emotion and excitement.

I was pretty shell-shocked as I wandered aimlessly through the finish line area. Jamba Juice was there with smoothies, so I downed two of those and picked up my bag at Gear Check while on the phone with Ryan trying to find each other. We met up and took a cab back home where I immediately hopped in the shower while he cooked me some food. Did I mention I have the best boyfriend in the world? 

I also have the best friends in the world for that matter. A couple of hours after the race, our friends came over for a post-marathon celebration and BBQ bearing champagne and beer and hugs and some gorgeous flowers from my friend Bonnie. I shocked myself by being far more mobile and not at all as sore as I expected to be, when it hit me all at once: I actually trained enough! All of the blogs and articles I read that promised me I had trained more than I felt like I did were right for once. So, we had a great day of drinking and talking and eating and of course, making drunk Vines of our late night dance parties and group sing-a-longs to 90s music videos on YouTube. Best. Friends. In the World. 

All things considered, I am a pretty lucky girl. Lucky to have my health and be able to run a full marathon. Lucky to live in this gorgeous city and have perfect training and racing weather. Lucky to have the support system that I do. I know that hard work and choices are what yields achievements like this, but whenever I sit back and think about it, so much of it feels like luck to me. And for that, I am endlessly grateful. I could not have asked for a more perfect marathon experience!

5/27/13 - 6/2/13 Health and Fitness Stats: 
  • ran 2 days for a total of 31.2 miles 
  • went to 1 bikram class
  • ran 94 miles in the month of May
  • completed my first marathon with an official time of 5:37:58

Ready to Rock and/or Roll...


Well. Tomorrow's the marathon.

In a lot of ways, the catalyst for launching this blog was to keep track of my training and hold myself publicly accountable while preparing for my first marathon. And I have to say, it's certainly done it's job. Reading back through my weekly entries, I remember how much dedication it took to get to this point.

Walking around the expo yesterday, I couldn't help but start to get excited. I could barely sleep last night. I woke up around 3:30am and started going over my plan and my to-do list for today.  I got a pedicure in hopes that my toenails are still around after the race. I put my laundry together and threw it in the wash. Went out and bought 6 bottles of champagne. Now, I'm pounding water and blogging in order to procrastinate all of the sucky homework I have to do and then the cleaning that's right behind that.

By this time tomorrow it will all be over. Motivation Monday posts won't though, because after this, I have a summer weight loss goal and then training for the 3-day 60-mile Susan G. Komen walk after that. But running will start to take a back seat for a while so I can learn to love it again.

The only thought that keeps me from freaking out is remembering that there will be people there tomorrow who are less prepared than me. And if they can finish, so can I. Here goes nothing!