Colorfornia

11.17.2017


Up until a couple of weeks ago, it had been a year since I last went for a run. 

Well, 364 days to be exact. The last time I ran was this little race on the east coast called the New York City Marathon. It was a perfect day, a perfect run, a perfect race. And a perfect excuse to take a little time off after training for five months. 

Only a little time turned into a month and then a season and before I knew it, it had been a year. 

It almost certainly would have gone longer than that had the running angels over at The Color Run not reached out and offered me a couple of free entries to the San Diego 5k. 

I decided that a little 5k fun run was the perfect way to kickstart my return to running. Better yet, I decided it was also the perfect opportunity to achieve a lifelong dream... to get Ryan to run a race with me. 

Plastic Free For the Sea

11.07.2017


How much plastic is in your bathroom?

A few weeks ago, I couldn't answer that question. And a few months ago?

I wouldn't have cared about the answer.

But then I spent time with Groundswell Community Project's surf program for women this summer and I started to learn about how plastics were hurting our oceans. I learned how more mindful changes to my lifestyle could actually make a difference.

So I pulled every single piece of plastic out of my bathroom. And I counted.

Hearty Plant-Based Quinoa Chili

10.22.2017



Even though it's still 90° degrees out in San Diego, we are officially in the middle of my favorite season: autumn. Which means it's time for one of my favorite fall activities: cooking chili.

This year, I've been interested in working more plant-based dinners into the rotation. As a lifelong meat eater, I don't have a lot of practice cooking meals that aren't constructed around meat. I also have a hard time feeling like I'm getting enough protein or like my meal is hearty enough when I attempt plant-based dinners.

But if there's any meal that defines heartiness it's chili. I don't think it's even possible for chili not to be hearty. So, inspired by a recipe I saw in a cookbook at my friend Makena's house, I attempted my own version of the One Pot Quinoa Chili from "28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot" by Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez and it was delicious. 

Fresh jalas from the garden!


Jessica and Wendy's book has a lot of other amazing plant-based recipes and their Instagram account,  @foodheavenshow, is super inspiring. These two bicoastal registered dietitians have such a refreshing and realistic take on eating healthy. I will definitely be going back to their cookbook for more of our plant-based dinners this fall.

Ultimately, this recipe is as simple as it is tasty and it will easily provide dinner for two and at least 4-6 lunches to boot. It's also a great excuse to harvest your home garden or use up any veggies before they go bad!

Hearty Plant-Based Quinoa Chili
Yield: 6-8 Servings

  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large zucchinis, diced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 15.5oz cans of organic tomato sauce
  • 1 15.5oz can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5oz can of organic chickpeas / garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Red chili pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp diced green onions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

1. Chop up all the veggies and mix together in one bowl with the minced garlic. Set aside. 
2. Heat up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, pour the bowl of veggies in and cook for 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the water, tomato sauce, black beans and chickpeas and stir. 
4. Once all the veggies, beans and liquids are mixed together, add the uncooked quinoa and spices. Cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Note: I don't really measure out spices, I just kind of eyeball it and keep adding it in as I cook. Go light with the red chili pepper flakes though, unless you want it really spicy!
5. Top bowls with some cheddar cheese and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!
6. Oh yeah! And compost what's left! :D


Yellowstone National Park

10.14.2017


Supervolcano. 

That was the caption that caught my attention when I was scrolling through Instagram photos from a former classmate's road trip earlier this summer. She was in Yellowstone and had just learned that the park was actually a supervolcano, something that was also news to me. 

A quick Google search from a lazy Saturday morning in bed confirmed that Yellowstone is, in fact, a supervolcano. And while the chances of its next eruption occurring during my lifetime are slim, it's still going to erupt again one day. 

And I wanted to be sure I'd seen it before it does and the earth plunges into volcanic winter.

Jake & Eggs

9.30.2017



If you've been on the hunt for the perfect biscuits and gravy in San Diego, I have good news for you: I found them.

Jake & Eggs, a pop-up breakfast spot that takes over Ocean Beach's Sundara restaurant Wed-Sun from 8-2pm, has been on my to-do list all summer. When I woke up starving last Saturday morning with no plans, I decided it was time to #treatyoself to a nice breakfast.




There was a 15 minute wait when I arrived, but they text you when your table is ready, which is nice. It gave me time to wander around in Olive Tree Market and score some of my favorite Jackie's Jams.

Once I was seated and it was time to order, I was overwhelmed by how tasty everything sounded and looked. It is really hard to not order everything.

I ended up with some Dark Horse Cold Brew, Jake's Lemonade Sangria (SO GOOD!), a side of biscuits and gravy (SO GOOD!), and their Sweet Potato Hash with avocado subbed for eggs.  Their biscuits and gravy were honestly the best biscuits and gravy I've ever had in my life. The gravy is this fluffy, airy sausage and thyme gravy that is just like getting a warm hug from your food. I don't know how else to explain it.


Next time you find yourself in OB for breakfast, remember this little gem of a secret breakfast spot. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Jake & Eggs
(inside Sundara Indian Cuisine)
(619) 419-1207
1774 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107

Ocean Blues

9.09.2017


Bolly Cuff in Caribbean Turquoise via Dunitz & Co. 

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the biggest impacts that surfing with Groundswell this summer has had on me is the way it has stoked my recommitment to protecting the environment, particularly our oceans.

Case in point? I now have a reusable water bottle again and haven't purchased a plastic water bottle in weeks.

In that post, I also shared a lesson that I learned from Groundswell's founder about buying power and how every purchase we make is essentially a vote. Going forward, I want my votes to go to businesses that have ethical and sustainable business practices.

Which is why when Dunitz & Co. reached out to me and was generous enough to send me a piece of their beautiful fair trade jewelry from Guatemala, I was excited for the opportunity to showcase them here.

Especially since founder Nancy Dunitz has such a #goals-worthy story: she left behind her corporate finance gig for more creative pursuits and to satiate her passion for world travel. That combination landed her in Guatemala where she fell in love with the beadwork of local artisans and was inspired to start her own company.

Not only is Dunitz & Co. a member of the Fair Trade Federation, but they are also a Gold Certified Green America Business and women-owned and operated. And their colorful, beaded jewelry just happens to be exactly my style.

You Can't Conquer The Ocean

9.04.2017


I think it was my fifth surf therapy session with Groundswell Community Project. I was paired up with a volunteer, a surf sister, Rebecca, who I hadn't met before, so I was introducing myself. I was giving her my elevator pitch, a quick synopsis of why I had joined their summer program. 

"Yeah, so I just learned how to swim a couple of years ago and this," I said, sweeping my hand to indicate the ocean on the horizon, "...is the next thing to conquer." 

We didn't have much time. Rebecca was listening, but at that particular moment she was mostly looking for the best place to help me get in the ocean as quickly as possible, trying to make sure I got on a wave or two on a particularly choppy day. Which is why I doubt she noticed when my own words stopped me in my tracks.

"Conquer" the ocean. Like it was just another achievement waiting to be checked off. Like it was something almost mechanical, merely requiring strategy, calculations and persistence.

Like it was even remotely possible. 

This sudden awareness of how I was describing the ocean was the seed of only one of the many salt water-soaked lessons that I learned with Groundswell Community Project this summer. I am profoundly and deeply changed after spending 8 weeks with their wonderful volunteers and their incredible force of a founder, Natalie Small. And of course, with Mother Ocean.

Only now, after reflecting on my experience for the past month to try and make sure I accurately articulate how it's changed me, have I felt able to share. 

Wonderspaces

6.24.2017



For me, the buzz around Wonderspaces started with one picture some friends on a date posted on Instagram. In it, they were in a room with a giant floating spiked balloon. And for whatever reason, I just assumed they were in LA. That's where all the cool artsy stuff happens, right?

But within 24 hours of that photo showing up on my feed, the buzz grew steadily. My friends Makena and Liz both texted me separately asking if I'd heard of Wonderspaces. My coworkers were sharing snaps from their own visits in the kitchen at work. And more and more photos began to pop up on my Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

By the end of the next day, I was almost paralyzed with FOMO.

Wonderspaces, a traveling pop-up art exhibit that's here through July 30th, is the coolest thing to happen to San Diego in a loooong time.  As they share on their website, "you can think of Wonderspaces as a pop-up museum of extraordinary experiences.  Those experiences range from room-sized interactive art installations to virtual reality films and include art enjoyed at the world’s biggest festivals and fairs."

You can also think of Wonderspaces as an Instagram staging area or as a way to justify weeknight drinks, since all of their alcohol sales go to local charities. Because as I finally found out for myself last week, Wonderspaces has got a little something for everybody...

DIY: Ocean Sunset Mala Bead Necklace Tutorial

6.04.2017


My introduction to mala beads came shortly after I started this blog in 2013. In fact, I was introduced because of this blog: my first mala necklace was gifted to me by a company that had seen my blog and felt that my voice connected with people who would enjoy their products. I hadn't heard of mala beads at the time, but I cherished that necklace and still wear it to this day.

For those who don't know, mala bead necklaces or meditation necklaces consist of 108 beads and a bindu or guru stone. The idea is to speak or think your intention or mantra as you touch each bead, ending with the bindu, on which you will give thanks to your teachers, whoever or whatever they may be.

If you're just starting out with meditation, I've found that a mala necklace can be a helpful tool to use for focus. And unlike prayer beads in other faiths, you can and should wear your mala beads as a reminder of your intention throughout the day!

Recently, I attended a local gem show with my friend Makena and purchased enough supplies to start making my own mala designs. For my very first mala, I was inspired by the view I am lucky enough to see from my house each night: a brightly colored sun setting into the ocean.

And as it turns out? Making your own mala necklace is just as relaxing as the meditation practice it's used for.

The Ultimate West Coast Road Trip

5.29.2017


Today is Memorial Day which means it's officially the start of summer. And the start of summer means... the start of road trip season!

I posted individually about each leg of the 8-day West Coast Road Trip I took last summer, but I wanted to put together a guide for the trip as a whole. And what better day than today, while I was relaxing around the house wishing I had a new road trip lined up for the summer?

Revisiting this trip (one of my favorites of all time!) today made me miss having a trip like this to research and plan out. And a 3000+ mile trip definitely requires at least a little planning.

On that note, I hope that this post not only inspires you to get outside and see some of our beautiful country this summer, but hopefully it helps do a bit of the heavy lifting on the planning front as well!

As for me, I'm ready for my next adventure. Any suggestions???

May Cause Miracles

4.02.2017



All you need is love.

In the past whenever I heard that phrase, I had a very narrow interpretation of it: if you had a love in your life, romantic or otherwise, that was all you needed to be happy.

But this year, I started to look at love differently. I started to look at it as a life philosophy. I looked at as something I could inject into my life on my own, moment to moment. I started to view love as the absence of fear. And I arrived at that definition by doing a 42-Day Fear Detox designed by Gabrielle Bernstein in her book, May Cause Miracles.

Honestly? It's changing my life.

I completed the workshop in February and have spent the last two months building on the spiritual work that I began during that process. The lessons I learned in those 42 days have become so important to me, so eye-opening and so sacred, that I decided I wanted to share them here. Which, naturally I was afraid to do, because it's a bit different than the content I usually post. But ultimately? It abides by the same North Star I've always had for this blog: to write about things that make me happy.

And if it makes other people happy too? Even better.

Coachella 2017 Lineup Guide: Friday

3.30.2017


Caguamas at 7am, Spicy Pie for every meal, afternoon naps in the Mojave tent, twirling through sandstorms with my best friends...

These are a few of my favorite things.

And in exactly two weeks (two weeks?!), I will be setting up camp to enjoy all of it during my favorite weekend of the year: Coachella.

But Coachella involves a lot of prep work to be enjoyed properly. Campground shade should be designed to be both trendy and able to withstand the wind that somehow only rips through the campgrounds when literally everyone is inside the festival and can't take it down to protect it. Outfits need to be planned for style, extreme temperature changes, and the ability to survive a poop-smeared Porta Potty (hope you romper fans have a SheWee in your purse).

And then there's those 100+ music acts that you have to listen to in order to plan your days.

I know, right? Such a bummer having to listen to so many hours of good music. Let the #coachellaproblems hashtags begin.

Well I have good news! (Depending on how much you trust my musical taste.) As with Coachella years of yore, I'm listening to the whole lineup so you don't have to. But unlike previous attempts I'm not going to write about every single band, just the ones I'm planning to see, broken up day by day.

Which leads us to Friday's lineup...

Super Bloomin'

3.18.2017


Every year, we try to make it out to the Anza-Borrego desert at least once for a camping trip, usually at our favorite campground, Agua Caliente. But in all the years that we've headed out there, I've never once witnessed a Super Bloom.

In fact, I'd never even heard the term "Super Bloom" until last year, back when Death Valley exploded in a sea of color. This is because San Diego has been in a drought since I moved here almost 7 years ago. Now, after the wettest winter in years, we're finally out of the drought and we have our own desert wildflowers to prove it.

Thousands and thousands of them.

A Very Venice Valentine's

2.21.2017



In my life, three neighborhoods have immediately felt like home each time I've set foot in them: my current (and likely forever) neighborhood of Ocean Beach, here in San Diego, Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles, and Venice Beach, also in LA.

I love, love, love Venice Beach. So when I had the chance to spend a day up there last week for a work conference, I took advantage of it and spent the night. And since it was a few days after Valentine's Day, I decided to turn it into a romantic Valentine's Day date with myself, complete with a walk on the beach at sunset, a fancy meal and... turtle racing.

As it turns out? Venice loves me right back.

Gjelina

2.20.2017


Hi, my name is Bri and I'm a sucker for over-hyped restaurants in trendy neighborhoods. Especially restaurants that have so much hype it condones publishing a popular cookbook of their recipes.

Which is why I ended up dining at Gjelina when I was in Venice Beach last week... for the hype, for the sceney scene... 

Oh, and did I mention the delicious food?

Turtle Racing at Brennan's Pub

2.18.2017


I have jumped out of a plane. I've run the New York City marathon. And now I can finally cross another major life accomplishment off my bucket list... 

I have participated in a turtle race. 

The Music Box SD

2.14.2017


Over a decade ago, when I thought I was going to make my living by being a writer, I got paid to write about music. 

It wasn't often and it wasn't even the first thing I got paid to write about. No, the first thing was high school sports. The second thing was lifestyle pieces about dental lab technicians for a trade magazine (yeah). 

But the third thing? That was music, which also happened to be my "plan." As in, my career plan.

See back then, I was obsessed with Chuck Klosterman and I watched "Almost Famous" like once a week so I had a very romantic take on what it meant to venture into music journalism. In reality, it was both more and less cool than that: for me, it meant going to album release parties in New York City and interviewing my favorite musicians on conference calls from my car and even hanging out on the occasional tour bus. 

It was an exciting, anything-could-happen time, even when it didn't pay much or often or at all. Honestly, I was just happy that my art could live in the shadows of the art of my heroes. I liked the proximity of my creativity to theirs, no matter how irrelevant that proximity was.  

And today, though it happens less frequently and though I no longer get or want to get paid for it, I still jump at the chance to write about music and musicians from time to time. And now that I'm in my 30s, it's ideal for those times to also involve comfy seating, craft cocktails and healthy snacks. 

Because, 30s, amiright?

Miracle in the Desert

2.04.2017



The absolute best part about finishing my MBA this past December was getting my weekends back. Not just the time... but the feeling of freedom, the unpredictability, the infinite possibilities that accompanied no longer having looming homework deadlines or the suffocating guilt that I wasn't working on homework during every spare minute I had outside of my full-time job.

Infinite possibilities. Meaning that I could wake up on any given Saturday morning and decide to go on an adventure. So I did.

During the first weekend of January, my friend Makena and I wrangled the dogs into my car, stopped for some coffee in OB and hit the road to explore the Salton Sea.

I Love LA: 100 Things To Do In Los Angeles

1.29.2017



This is how you know I wasn't born in San Diego: I love LA.

Every time I admit this to a true San Diegan, their response is usually a variation of "Ugh, why???" Which I totally understand because after growing up outside of Manhattan and having lived there for two years, I have the same response when people tell me they heart New York City.

But I really can't help it: I love Los Angeles. I fell in love with that city the moment I got off the plane at LAX. And while I know now that I would never want to live there, it does make for a pretty nice weekend getaway. Which is why for the past two years I've planned at least one weekend per year up there when I tackle a new bunch of items on my LA Bucket List.

This year I thought I'd sit down and actually write that list so that it no longer exists solely in my head. Partly to have a fun way to keep track of my adventures as I complete them and partly to get suggestions from Angelenos on what I'm missing.

Though I don't think I missed much. After all, I did manage to come up with 100 things to check off my list...

Stay Nasty, San Diego

1.24.2017


I think one thing is clear now: San Diego cares a lot more than we get credit for.

The long-standing stereotype about San Diegans is that we're all a bunch of aloof, apathetic, carefree beach bums. We flake out on commitments or show up "whenever." Our offices are a place for flip flops and dogs, not suits and high heels. Our sports teams are terrible because we aren't good fans, we don't get argumentative unless it's about coffee, craft beer, brunch or tacos, and we aren't very engaged politically.

That's the rumor anyway. The turnout at the San Diego Women's March on Saturday told a different story.

Rose Bowl Flea Market

1.08.2017


Sunday mornings are a great excuse to lay in bed and scroll through Instagram for hours longer than you normally would. But it's even better if it's it the second Sunday of the month... because then you can stalk all the hauls from the Rose Bowl Flea Market. 

I am obsessed with the amazing stuff that people find at this flea market and I have been for years. The envy is real and if I had a bigger house and millions of dollars I would go every month. Hands down, that's not even a question. Which is why I kind of avoided it for a long time... the temptation is just too much. 

After all, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is actually the greatest flea market on Earth. 

What I Read Last Year

1.02.2017



If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Every year I make a goal of reading/listening to 50 Books in the upcoming year. And every year I come up short by oh, I don't know? About 40 books or so?

I managed to get to 11 in both 2013 and 2014. I hit a record high of 16 last year (though I never wrote about my last 3 books of 2015: Dear Mr. You by Mary Louise Parker, Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert). But this year?

This year I only managed to squeeze in 10 books. Which actually is kind of impressive considering how little free time I had between my new job and finishing my MBA. It was fairly non-fiction heavy, with only two (fantastic) novels making it into the mix, but ultimately it ended up being a pretty solid list.

Good Riddens, 2016

1.01.2017


This post has had some harsher titles in drafts. Let's just say F bombs were involved.

I usually love writing these recaps each year, but this one was hard. 2016 started out mildly shitty and ended really shitty. And it was shitty for a lot of what happened in the middle too.

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