#TacoTuesday: The Blind Burro, Downtown San Diego


One would think that after spending a week in Mexico the last thing we would want to eat was tacos. And one would be right. That is, of course, until I tell you where we were headed for Taco Tuesday. 

Last week Ryan and I went to The Blind Burro in Downtown San Diego for their exceptionally fun Taco Tuesday. When I heard what The Blind Burro was doing with their Taco Fights, all I could think about was how genius it was and how I couldn't believe more restaurants in SD weren't doing it. 

Taco Fights consist of two chefs going all MasterChef for the night, each concocting their best taco. If you order the $6 Taco Fights special you receive the two gourmet tacos, identified only as Taco A and Taco B. You can up the price a few bucks to get custom craft beer pairings with each taco. You're also given a token and before 8:30pm or so you can drop the token in the appropriate bucket to vote for your taco of choice. Essentially it combines two amazing things: cooking competitions and tacos. I was sold. 

We got there at about 7pm and the place was packed. I was really into the vibe during their Taco Tuesday: lots of energy but not so crowded that you feel claustrophobic. It's great for a more casual evening too, since there's two huge bars to sit at and their outdoor seating is perfect for Gaslamp people watching. I can only imagine how this place is going to blow up during their first summer here. (Note: During Padres season, you'll need a reservation.)

For drinks, I ordered their delicious Border Mule cocktail and Ryan stuck to beer. We had their Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos to start, complete with house made chorizo and applewood smoked bacon. I always worry about things being too spicy, but these were just yummy and too easy to gobble up... a perfect appetizer. Then our Taco Fights tacos came out. 

Taco A had slices of yellow tail (only Ryan tried this one - nothing from the sea for Bri!) with achiote sauce, fried pork, avocado and dried chile-pistachio salsa. Taco B was grilled lengua con escabeche, macha sauce, pickled vegetables and candied jamaica-peanuts. What is grilled lengua you ask? Why, it's cow's tongue.

Neither Ryan or I are really super adventurous eaters so needless to say neither of us would have ordered this if it was on the menu. But the Fights made it fun, so we went for it and were pleasantly surprised. It was a delicious, amazing taco with literal waves of flavor and by far our favorite (not that I can judge Taco A). It was no surprise then that Taco A won the Fight and was crafted by Blind Burro's very own chef.

We ordered four more tacos to share after that (pictured at the top) and they were all delicious as well (from, by the way, our amazing server - great service was had the whole night).  Their Championship Fight for February is tonight but hopefully they continue the Taco Fights next month - if so, I highly recommend participating even if it's something you wouldn't normally order! If not, head to The Blind Burro anyway for what may be Gaslamp's best Taco Tuesday and grab some of their "Baja Tuesday" drinks specials: $4 dos xx drafts, $5 margaritas, and $5 mezcal shooters.

The Blind Burro
639 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 795-7880

Motivation Monday: Women's Running Series San Diego


I'm going to be honest: I almost didn't run this half marathon.

I had every intention of running it 3 weeks ago when I was first contacted by Women's Running Series, but then a series of crazy and awesome things happened. First, I was offered a great new job and had to give notice at the place where I've worked for the past 3 years. Second, Ryan and I went to Mexico for a week (more on that later). Third, when we got back, I got a severe case of Montezuma's Revenge.

So there I was, last Friday at 6:30pm, sipping Bud Light at a goodbye happy hour with my old coworkers. The expo where I needed to pick up my bib was exactly 30 minutes away (if traffic was on my side) and it closed at 7pm. My body was destroyed from a week of drinking in the sun and the subsequent removal of everything in my body upon return (thanks, unfiltered ice cubes). And part of me just didn't think I could make it. To the expo, let alone the finish line.

But boy am I glad I did. Traffic was just barely in my favor and thanks to a quick sprint through the expo, I picked up my bib and the awesome goody bag and tech shirt and headed home for some pasta and a good night's sleep.

The half started at 6:30am in Liberty Station, which was a first for me. This was my 5th half marathon in San Diego and the first time that I've had a start or finish line located there. It's the perfect place for it too: there's plenty of parking and open space and tons of great brunch and lunch options within stumbling distance post-race. The weather was gorgeous and just chilly enough to make me glad that I brought my Roxy Atmosphere jacket for the start.

The course took us out of Liberty Station at sunrise down to Harbor Island, where we looped around while enjoying an amazing view of the skyline. Next we ran over to Shelter Island and looped that as well, all the way to Kona Kai resort and back. Then it was back to Liberty Station for the finish.

With the nice weather we get in February, the flat course and, of course, the views, the Women's Running Series half marathon in San Diego is a great choice for your first half marathon or for a racecation destination with friends. Personally, the whole time I was running I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky I am to live in this city and how much I'm in love with it. And though there isn't much of a crowd or spectators for this race in comparison to others, this very well may be my favorite half marathon in San Diego.

I finished with an official clock time of 02:35:08. I swear, some days I think I should just suck it up and sign up to be a pacer. I keep thinking that one of these days I'll finally break out of my slump and run the 2-hour half that I know I have inside of me. But it never happens. Instead, I am consistently within 6 minutes of 2:30:00 no matter how much I do or don't train.

Anyway, maybe it was the promise of champagne at the finish line, but this was also the first race where I didn't want to immediately die upon finishing. I felt really good, both physically and energy-wise, and headed straight to the Bon Affair tent for my complimentary electrolyte-infused sparkling wine.

A huge thanks to Women's Running Series San Diego for having me and for putting on such a great race. This is one that I definitely want to run again next year. For now though, it's time to hang up my running shoes for the most part. This Saturday, I'm starting a 28-day diet that restricts my cardio and so I'll be running a lot less for the month of March. It's called the Fast Metabolism Diet and I'm kind of excited to try it. Has anyone else done it before?



It's about 7am here in Sayulita and though the sun's not quite up yet, this is the unbelievable view we'll be waking up to shortly from our room at Playa Escondida.

Today is also Valentine's Day and I am so lucky to spend it with the person I love in a place as beautiful as this. There is no better way to spend this day (or any other) than salty, sandy and sunburned with the love of my life. Except, of course, without the sunburned part.

However you spend your day today, I hope that you get a little sunshine too, but more importantly that you make the time to enjoy all the people, animals, places, and experiences that you love.Because that's what Valentine's Day is really all about: celebrating what you love about your life.

And chocolate.

Fireball Fridays: Hot Toddy Cocktail Recipe


To know me is to know how much I love the cinnamony goodness that is Fireball Whisky. Say what you will about flavored liquors, but Fireball is my beloved exception, the one drink that I will push on people until I have converted even the snobbiest of drinkers into a believer. And during the blustery months of flu season, there is no better vehicle for Fireball than in a Hot Toddy. 

I had my first Hot Toddy at a bar in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was a tiny, dark steak house with a crotchety but lovable Irish bartender and thus the perfect place for a bunch of broke, aspiring writers to convene every night after class. One night I told Frank the bartender that I wasn't drinking because I had a cold and he waved me off and said he had the perfect thing: a Hot Toddy. Some tea, some honey, some lemon... and most importantly, some whiskey. 

I don't know much about the healing powers of Hot Toddys, but it sure made me feel better that winter night. And ever since then it has been my go to drink for chilly, rainy days (or snowy ones when I'm on the East coast). This past winter I started making them with Fireball and will never make them any other way. So grab a bottle of Fireball, boil some water, and prepare for the yummiest hot cocktail you've ever had. 

  • 2 oz Fireball Whisky
  • 1-2 tsps of honey
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Black tea (Earl Grey works best)
  • 5-6 oz boiling water
1. Boil the water or microwave for 2 minutes until hot.
2. In the empty teacup, add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey, a good squeeze from the lemon half and the tea bag.
3. Add the water and stir. Let the tea bag steep for a bit, then discard and enjoy!

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment Attempt #1


I have a love/hate relationship with coconut. The love part is obvious: it smells like summer and beaches and tropical drinks and my favorite after sun lotion. The hate part is 11 years in the making: when I was 16 I had an unfortunate experience with Malibu Coconut Rum. To this day, I have never forgiven rum. Coconut and I, well, we are on frenemy terms.

Which is why I was hesitant when I kept seeing coconut oil hair treatments popping up everywhere. But the ladies of my various social media networks raved on and so on my last trip to Trader Joe's I grabbed a jar. Now, I have never cooked with coconut oil, but I frequently find myself mumbling "DAMMIT!" when trolling Pinterest recipes for dinner only to find that Coconut Oil is the only ingredient that we don't already have in the house. So I'm sure it will come in handy for other things, which is how I justified dropping the $5 bucks on some natural beauty remedy I wasn't sure I'd ever end up trying.

Flash forward only a few days (!) to Superbowl Sunday morning when I had tons of homework due and therefore an endless amount of free time to take care of "all the things I have to do before I can concentrate on school." (Life tip: if you really want to make it through your Pinterest To Do list, go to grad school).

If you have never opened a jar of coconut oil before, it may surprise you to find that it is a hard, seemingly dry substance that you have to warm up with your hands in order to get the oil. This took a little bit of fumbling and lot of coconut crumbs on the floor, so first make sure to protect the floor beneath you in case you're a spaz like me. I caught on quickly and started to use smaller pieces (much small than the chunk pictured above and more like the one below) to warm up in my hands, then rubbed the oil through my hair. All in all, I probably used 2-3 tablespoons of the stuff.

I spent a lot time focusing on my ends and made sure those were a bit more saturated than the rest of my hair. When I finished applying the oil, it appeared wet like in the picture above but actually felt kind of dry. I threw my hair in a top bun and then attempted homework for a couple of hours before taking a shower to wash it out and see the results.

I had to shampoo three times before it felt like it wasn't greasy and then my hair just felt really dry. Getting out of the shower and brushing my hair was even worse: the ends were all tangled and knotty. I put in leave-in conditioner just so I could brush it. As I combed it out, whether or not it was my imagination, it looked like I had all new split ends.

It's safe to say that my first coconut oil hair treatment was a complete failure... but I'm not giving up just yet. What did I do wrong? Have you ever tried putting coconut oil in your hair?

Friends Who Sweat Together...


Tanya Maslach, founder of GOTRIbal and ActiveBudz

There is no aspect about running that I complain about more than my lack of a running buddy. OK, that's not true. Some of my other complaints involve it being dark too early, me being too tired, too achy, it being too chilly... BUT! I do in fact complain a lot about having to run alone, which is why I'm so excited when I get to run with my friend Anjali or when I meet potential new running buddies like Kate over at SoCal Runner Gal. Because let's face it, it's BORING to run alone ALL the time.

Cue: Tanya Maslach, the San Diego-based entrepreneur and founder of GOTRIbal and ActiveBudz. Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of getting to know her a bit and wow, is this a woman to admire. A marine biologist turned executive consultant turned entrepreneur, Tanya's list of accomplishments is dazzling and that's just her resume. She's also a fitness icon, having been a collegiate athlete and more recently, a kickass triathlete.

More importantly, GOTRIbal found a recent MIT study that showed that participants in online health communities are 166% more likely to change behavior when they receive reinforcement from multiple online health buddies. That's certainly true in my case: when I was training for my marathon, nothing motivated me more than seeing encouragement and accountability questions from my fellow runners on Twitter each day.

GOTRIbal has created their own amazing community for women who want an accountability group, a coach, or a long-distance training buddy. And the recently launched ActiveBudz app brings it local, matching you with workout buddies in your area who have the same goals, pace or interests as you do. I told Tanya that I thought a little Q+A was in order to help spread the word about the app, since I know it will benefit so many people just like me!

What was the inspiration behind ActiveBudz?
Tanya: I found it odd that as wildly connected to other active people as I was, and as my friends were, we were all still searching for someone "just right" to work out with: someone who shared our fitness level, our sport, and even our lifestyle habits! People would email and send messages to GOTRIbal looking for introductions to other coaches and training buddies, and then I'd hurry to find just the perfect connection for them -- no matter where in the country or world they needed it. 

Have you had any memorable workout partners who've inspired you?
T: It was really three women. They swam with me back in Hawaii, and each of them were accomplished long-distance triathletes. We had a blast in the pool, goofing off quite a bit. But when I wanted to hang out with them, they were always out on their bikes or running, too. (Or sleeping!) Despite my naivete they took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of multisport; inviting me on rides and helping me get signed up and ready for all my events, including finding me connections to people who had gear and equipment. It was always about the Connections to awesome people!

What is your favorite fitness event in San Diego?
T: I'm embarrassed to say I haven't done too many events here! I travel a lot so I can see family (while I race) and see a different part of the country. I did really enjoy the Carlsbad Tri though -- I did it with two girlfriends as a fun race, and I just smiled the entire time. It was so awesome. 

What words of advice do you have for women who are tackling a major goal like starting their own biz or running a tri (or learning to swim like me!)? 
T: If you have that flame lit within you, it's a testimony to your passion to do something new, bigger, better and more challenging. Don't let the little voice in your head that represents "safety" or "fear of failure" or "I'm not going to be good" stomp all over that flame. The key is to find people who share that flame and can help you fan it to be lit brighter and brighter. That's why there is ActiveBudz. I've learned that when I'm trying something new -- or even trying to get better at something I'm already pretty good at -- I reach out first to people who are a bit better and can help me know what I don't know. That personalized connection is so powerful, and so influential, it's the one thing that catapults me to keep doing what I think is hard, challenging or just plain "impossible".

What do you hope ActiveBudz will look like a year from now? 
T: I hope there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have discovered fun, meaningful and positive relationships with active buds they were introduced to on the ActiveBudz app. That these new friendships result not only in people living more adventurous, active lifestyles, but that they recognize that through those new friendships, they've reversed the rate of obesity simply by making one powerful connection at a time.

Be sure to add me on ActiveBudz if you live in San Diego! Especially if you're training for a half, since I just signed up for my next one, the Women's Running Series in San Diego on Saturday, February 22nd!

I wanted so badly to do the Women's Running Series half last year in San Diego and had a scheduling conflict, so when they reached out to me this year, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I am SO excited about this race. It's close to my house, gorgeous and flat and a perfect race for February. And since you know I am looking for running buddies, if you want to do it too, I have a discount code for you!!

Register: http://womensrunning.competitor.com/san-diego/register 
$15 Off Promo Code: WHYIRUN2

Email me if you register and we'll meet up before or after the race! Happy Hump Day!

Shopped: Love & Aesthetics in Little Italy, San Diego


My favorite Saturday mornings are the ones I spend in Little Italy, picking up fresh food and gorgeous flowers at the Farmer's Market, popping into the new boutiques, getting coffee with friends and stopping by the art store. This past Saturday I got the chance to do just that and met up with Eva from The Fashion Fairytale.

I met Eva at the Get Fit San Diego party last week and just fell in love with her energy and style. We got coffee on Saturday at Pappalecco and chatted the afternoon away. She is one of those people that you just feel like you've known forever and it was so nice to have a conversation with a new friend who I could talk to like an old friend. 

On my walk home after our coffee date, I happened to notice a boutique that I'd never seen before called Love & Aesthetics. From coffee table books to dishware to Missoni towels, their eclectic and unique collection of home goods makes this a must-stop for any shopping trip to Little Italy. It's definitely on my list, only next time I'll make sure to stop in before carrying a bag of groceries that's demanding to be put away. :)

NEED this portable wine tote for the beach!

Love & Aesthetics
621 W Fir St
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 354-8441

Motivation Monday: Biometrics Testing


Last week my company hosted a wellness fair and brought in Wellness Corporate Solutions to do biometrics testing on all of us. The testing involved getting a finger prick to read the cholesterol, LDL and HDL levels, glucose and triglycerides in my blood, getting my blood pressure taken, my waist measured, my weight, and my BMI and body fat percentage taken. The last of which I had never done before.

Then we were given a link to an online wellness quiz where we could fill out other stuff, like questions about our stress levels, how much time we spend driving, if I eat breakfast everyday, etc. Using the data from the biometrics testing at the end, the quiz generated a report about our total wellness and areas for improvement.

Let's just say I was unpleasantly almost-surprised.

By the time I ran the marathon last year I was down 8lbs, eating better, sleeping more and drinking less. Last fall, I signed up for two more marathons in the hopes of recreating that disciplined lifestyle, but failed spectacularly on both counts. And not only did I gain that 8lbs back over the holidays but I threw in a few extra for good measure.

So I grabbed a Diet Coke and some peanut butter snack crackers and did some soul searching. Why has this been happening? Why is it so hard for me to maintain a consistently healthy lifestyle? What do I need to motivate myself? I really tried to pinpoint the factors that contributed to where I am now, which is certainly not where I intended to be a week before our vacation to Mexico.

I have my suspicions, but I'm not ready to share those quite yet. Instead, I spent the past week making some small changes and putting together a list of goals that I want to achieve and the steps I'll need to get there:

Lower My Cholesterol: News to me, but apparently my total cholesterol is slightly elevated. So I did some research on the Mayo Clinic website and found some ways to lower cholesterol. Looks like the first step I'm going to start taking will kill two birds with one stone: breakfast. I don't eat a healthy breakfast. I don't think I ever have in my life. But one of my absolute favorite new companies, MixMyOwn.com, makes breakfast so easy that it's stupid for me not to take advantage of it.

So I went to MixMyOwn last week and created a breakfast mix that includes all of the ingredients high in soluble fiber that supposedly lower your cholesterol: oats, quinoa puffs, almonds, and rich-in-fiber fruits like apples and pineapples. My goal is to leave my mix at the office and have it for breakfast, hot or cold, each morning when I get in. This will give me the 8-10g of Dietary Fiber I need to help lower my cholesterol.

Stay Active at Work: At my job, I sit for 8+ hours a day, slouched in my desk chair, feet kicked up on a ottoman (upside-down recycling bin). After seeing my tragic results, I decided that I am going to take 2 15-minute breaks each day to walk a brisk mile. That's 2 miles a day before I even get home! I'm also going to start only taking the stairs to our 4th floor office and I decided to alternate each half hour between sitting on my chair and sitting on a new stability ball to help improve my posture and remind me to sit actively.

Now I'm one of "those" people.

Get in a Minimum of 5 Hours of Exercise Each Week: My all or nothing approach to marathon training is part of what makes it so daunting. If I tell myself that I just have to get in 5 hours of exercise each week, I think that is a much more achievable goal, at least for right now. Plus, if I go for my daily walks, that's 2.5 hours right there.

Bikram at Least 2x a Week: This was a part of my New Year's Goals and I did not even come close to achieving or really attempting this in January. It's a fresh month and it's time to make the most out of the monthly subscription to my yoga studio.

Track My Progress Weekly: In my case, ignorance isn't bliss, it's weight gain. So staying accountable to myself via a journal, an app, this blog, or all three will help me keep up my work and track my progress. More importantly, I ordered the tool that CWS used in our biometrics screenings, the Omron Body Fat Loss Monitor, to keep track of my weekly BFP. I think that this will change the way I look at my progress, since I usually get discouraged by how slow I am to lose weight, when really I'm just gaining muscle. Seeing both numbers will help me to have a more complete picture of my heath.

Drink 8 Glasses / 64oz of Water a Day: Like breakfast, this is another no-brainer that I was doing well at for a while when I remembered to bring my Hyrdoflask to work. Lately though, I've been skimping on the water front.

Start Taking My Multivitamin and Biotin Supplement Each Day: Long hair, don't care. I was avoiding the frequent plagues at the office and growing my hair out when I remembered to take my supplements every day. Since then I've been sick about a bajillion times and my hair and nails have been slower to grow than ever.

There you have it. Written in stone (or at least 1s and 0s) for all of the internet to see. Biometrics testing was the kick in the ass that I needed and seems to have jump-started me into making healthier decisions. Now let's see if I can stick to them!