Restaurant Review: barleymash, Gaslamp


Real talk: picking out a great restaurant for dinner in the Gaslamp is probably as overwhelming for San Diegans as it is for visitors. Most of the time I can barely pick out a place when I need to for myself, let alone make recommendations. And it definitely doesn't help that restaurants downtown sometimes seem to disappear overnight.

This was exactly the predicament one of my best friends, Bonnie, and I found ourselves in a couple of weeks ago, when we were looking for a dinner spot before having a Scandal night back at Bonnie's place. Then we were invited to try out barleymash's menu... problem solved!

I was familiar with barleymash because, how could you miss it? I've walked and driven past its prime corner location on 5th and Market a billion times. Still, I'd never eaten there because while it had always seemed like a fun spot to drink, honestly I just expected the food to be your typical semi-decent barfare, similar to the other large, corner bars on 4th and 5th Ave.

Which is a shame, because I was completely wrong.

Happy-U Namaste Yoga Studio


It took me a few minutes to figure out how to start this post about Happy-U Namaste Yoga Studio in Ocean Beach. Because, I mean, if we were face-to-face? I would probably start off with a big, happy sigh. A sigh of relief really. Because I think I finally found the place where I am most comfortable practicing yoga.

Sayulita Life: Zip Lining Through the Mexican Jungle


Of all the ways Ryan and I have spent Valentine's Day, last year will always be one of my favorites. Valentine's Day fell on our last full day in Sayulita after a amazing week of sunsets, cervezas and relaxation. And while I wasn't sure how I expected to spend the holiday in Mexico, I don't think I expected it to include strapping myself to a cable and flying above the jungle at 30mph...

30 Before 30


My 20s have been good great to me.

For starters? I've seen my writing in print. I've crowd surfed at music festivals, climbed on stage at the MTV VMAs, flirted my way onto a band's tour bus, and lied my way into a fancy album release party. I've run half-marathons. I've run a full marathon. I've even walked 60 miles for charity. I lived in New York City for two years and in London for three weeks. I've lived alone, dined alone, traveled alone, gone to the movies alone, gone to concerts alone...  I even went to Coachella alone. I conquered my biggest fear and finally learned how to swim. I've zip lined through the jungle in Mexico, stood in ancient ruins in Rome, and watched the lights twinkle in Paris from the Eiffel Tower. I've waited tables, sold Apple computers, researched story lines for a novelist, and edited a magazine. I've drunkenly bear-hugged Bill Murray and I've soberly called John Mayer a moron to his face. I got a tattoo.. then another.. and another.

I've hosted and cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for my family. I've run through the South of France in the rain with fresh baguettes and stood on Gaudi's rooftops in Barcelona. I finished my bachelor's degree then my (first) master's degree while working full-time during five very caffeinated years. I've skinny dipped in the Pacific Ocean and strolled through Central Park. I took a gondola ride through Venice, explored the Vatican, and toured the Palace of Versailles. I've been on the top of the Empire State Building at 1am, gambled the night away in Vegas and watched the sun set over the Grand Canyon. I packed up everything I owned and moved to California, with no job prospects in sight. I met a boy, I fell in love, and we adopted two rescue dogs.

I found out what made me happy and I am grateful every day.

And don't get me wrong, my 20s still feel far from over. Unfortunately, regardless of how I "feel," it doesn't change the fact that in 15 months, I'll be entering my next decade.

Honestly? I'm not scared to turn 30, I'm not dreading it like I'm apparently supposed to. Not one little bit. How can I with all the wonderful stuff I got to experience during my 20s? In fact, I'm really excited for my 30s, for focusing more on the people and activities that I love and less on the things that I don't, for being done with school, for settling down... but... I mean...

There's still time to make my 20s go out with a bang.

A Pineapple A Day


Every morning I wake up to the sound of screaming parrots.

I mean, it's out of control at this point. I don't know where they came from or when they got here, but they're here now. Dozens and dozens of green parrots screeching from the trees as if something is attacking them. Some of our neighbors in Ocean Beach told us they live here during the winter and they'll be gone again soon, but for me? It's not soon enough.

Which is funny because for a long time I dreamed of living in a tropical paradise, one where I  could wake up in some boho beach shack to the sound of tropical birds and waves crashing, walk out of my front door onto the sand and eat fresh fruit every morning for breakfast.  While San Diego is not quite the tropics, with the recent appearance of these birds, it would seem that a version of that dream has come true.

For instance, until the planes start flying overhead each morning, I can in fact hear the waves crashing onto the beach, 500 feet away. Our little casita is almost as boho as I envisioned, minus the palapa roof that I imagine wouldn't hold up so well here. And most mornings, I do try to start my day with some fruit, sometimes fresh, sometimes frozen.

Because you know what they say: a pineapple a day keeps the worries away.

Iceland Is Always A Good Idea

pc: Flickr

The flights are booked and I could not be any more excited about our upcoming island vacation. Four whole days of black sand beaches, snorkeling in crystal clear water, breathtaking waterfalls, stretches of totally secluded coastline...

And ice caves.

Here is where I should also mention how that black sand comes from volcanoes, that crystal clear water will be just above freezing, and those stretches of totally secluded coastline could (and probably will) be completely covered in snow while we're there. Because the island that we're going to? Yeah, it's freakin' Iceland.