Tag Archives: travel

Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2015 Recap

seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

A little under a year ago, I hovered my mouse over the “Buy Now” (or whatever) button on the SeaWheeze sign-up page. At the time, I was living in Pittsburgh, no clue where my life was going to be in a year. I had been interviewing up and down the West Coast and it’s no secret I was absolutely frustrated with my life at that point. Committing to a race across the continent a year out seemed like a stretch because I didn’t know where my life would be in one month. Would any friends go with me? It didn’t seem like a trip that would be quite as much fun alone.

I closed out of the browser and went back to doing whatever it was I should have been doing at work, reaching out to bloggers or answering e-mails or paying attention in a meeting. Then in October I moved to San Francisco, met Kay and she invited me to come run SeaWheeze with her in June.

Thursday night I flew in to Vancouver, got in decently late (because I was too impatient to wait for a taxi so I decided to take the train and then service was stopped for a medical emergency and a nice Vancouver resident helped me get on a bus) and pretty much went straight to bed. Since I couldn’t technically go to the SeaWheeze Showcase store when it opened at 8 a.m. since it was runners only and you had to show your ticket with your ID, I slept in (for me, meaning 7 a.m.), went for a little shakeout run and then headed to the race expo to meet Kay and her mom to get the wristband for the race.

In case you aren’t clued in, part of the reason SeaWheeze is so special is the exclusive gear at the Showcase Store. Each year the race has a theme (this year’s was science) and you can buy your favorite Lululemon silhouettes from Pace Shorts to Speed Tights to Scuba Hoodies in exclusive prints that match back to the theme. This is Black Friday for the yuppie crowd. People begin queuing up at 8 p.m. the night before.

By the time I finally made it to the showcase store at 4:30 p.m. or so, most things were sold out. A few good pieces remained in a 2 or 4 (luckily for me) and I scored a new workout bag (instead of using an old Longchamp like a real jerk), a singlet and some socks because I go through them quicker than I do laundry. Uh, also the US Dollar is really strong right now so, okay 30% off Lululemon.

Back to the race expo – it wasn’t crazy when I got over there around 10 a.m. so we walked around, sampled really good kombucha (Rise), 49th Parallel Iced Coffee and goodies from Vega then I waited in a line to get my hair braided because the line didn’t seem too awful to wait in at the time.

seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

SeaWheeze Race Expo

By the time I had finished all that, it was nearly noon and I was due to a lunch with the Vega team and a few other influencers at 12:30. I quickly showered and walked to Forage, a Vancouver restaurant that focuses on food sourced locally. I was excited to meet Trevor from the Vega team whom I’ve worked with and is absolutely wonderful to me. The rest of the Vega team was amazing and I also got to meet a few other bloggers, including Angela from Cowgirl Runs! I’ve been reading her blog for years so it was great to meet her in person.

seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

Angela from Cowgirl Runs and me at the Vega lunch!

Friday evening Lululemon throws a free yoga class for all participants – and the community – at Jack Poole Plaza. It was really restorative and it felt great to stretch after not doing enough yoga lately/traveling/walking like 13 miles on Friday.

seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

Kay and me at the Friday night yoga session.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5:45 a.m., did my pre-race ritual of making peanut butter and banana toast while getting dressed, eating and reading some running blogs and walking to the start. I had a feeling I should over-estimate my pace since I had heard this was a race a lot of beginners run so people often don’t place themselves in the right corral. I found the 1:45-1:55 corral, tried to get close to the front and after the Canadian anthem, we were off pounding the streets.

The first part of the race was so congested but I was actually surprised at how people were actually respectful enough to self-seed correctly in this race. I’ve seen people walking within the first two miles of a sub-2 hour corral group. I’m going to chalk this up to this race being mainly Canadians and them being so polite and respectful.

I had decided I wanted to run for fun and try not to look at my watch too much. The 1:50 pace group was in front of me and I just didn’t want to be around a ton of people and I was feeling good and before I knew it, I hit the first mile at 7:40 (aka not looking at my watch obviously did not work out). Typically in the past this is where I tell myself I have no business running that pace and to slow down but I decided to just see how long I could keep it up.

Since SeaWheeze is in Canada, obviously, the race is marked in kilometers. It’s funny to go from 13.1 to 21.1 (or something along those lines) when thinking about how much of a race is left. I had expected this and also thought not memorizing the distances would force me to not look at my watch (fail).

For the most part, and this is coming from someone who lives in San Francisco, the SeaWheeze course is relatively flat. You run from the Vancouver Civic Centre to Kitsilano, the home of Lululemon, back across the bridge and into Stanley Park where you run along the Seawall and the Pacific Ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous. Lululemon did a great job at having entertainment along points you really needed a booster on the Seawall, including a unicorn on a paddleboard. I really wish I cared less about running good [for me] times and stopped to take a photo.

Another really cool moment of entertainment was riders from Method Cycle (what I guess I would say is Vancouver’s answer to Flywheel), riding on the bridge to Kitsilano.

So, since this is already at like 1000 words – about mile 11 I started hitting the wall, feeling awful, forced through and ran a 1:50:37 – a 5-second PR. Which, you know, I wasn’t unhappy with for not really trying too hard and every little PR is a step closer to 1:45, right?

seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

I really need to work on my form when I’m fatigued.

Kay and her mom were cheering me on at the finish line and after I grabbed the Runners’ Brunch (a really tasty liege waffle, grapes, cherries, a strawberry yogurt and an unremarkable quiche), they waited in the massage line with me for about 30 minutes. Saje, a natural wellness brand of essential oils in Canada, was sponsoring the massages. It was fine for a free massage after waiting for 30 minutes – basically she stretched me out – and I really was not sore the next day, so I’m going to say it helped.

The SeaWheeze events culminated in the Sunset Festival where there was a yoga practice led by Alex Mazerolle, a local instructor and studio founder. She was awesome. Really funny and a solid vinyasa practice that was really restorative after running 13 miles that morning. Next time I’m in Vancouver I’m going to have to take one of her classes. There was also food, beer and wine at the festival, a local maker’s market and St. Lucia and Yeasayer preformed. Basically a baby Wanderlust from what I understand.

seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

This is me looking snarky in tree pose.

If you want to really get a good feel for the SeaWheeze experience, I suggest watching their video recap. I’ll tell you that I have a reminder set on my phone for September 16th when registration opens for 2016 if you need any more convincing to register.

Stay tuned for a post on what to eat/drink/do in Vancouver once I get around to writing it… I still have a trip to Mexico that I haven’t written about. Eek.

Chat with me:
Have you ever ran SeaWheeze? What race is on your bucket list? What makes or breaks a race for you?

What to Pack for a Destination Race [+ a Vega Giveaway!]

what-to-pack-for-a-destination-race | almost getting it together

Races are a great excuse to visit a place (Tokyo Marathon is on my running bucket list, personally).  When my good friend Kay offered me the chance to travel to Vancouver to run Seawheeze obviously the only answer was yes, right? I have wanted to visit Vancouver for a while now, I wanted to run Seawheeze but couldn’t pull the trigger on signing up without knowing I would have a friend going with me (says the girl who loves traveling alone) and Kay is one of my favorite people so I couldn’t say no to a weekend of running, yoga and Lululemon.

Besides races in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, I’ve run a few races in other places – DC, Ragnar, and a few in Georgia/Florida/Virginia before I started blogging. I usually write out a list of everything I need for race day since I’m such a basket case about my pre- and post-race routines.

This list is meant for race-essential things. Obviously I hope you know to pack street clothes and other things like that. Also, pack all these things in your carry-on bag. If you put your running essentials in your checked bag when flying to a destination race, you’re asking for trouble.

What to Pack for a Destination Race

what-to-pack-for-a-destination-race | almost getting it together

My Race Day Destination Race Essentials

Race Day:

  • Top: I usually always wear a Nike Dry Fit Tank.
  • Bottoms: Lululemon Speed Shorts, always.
  • Shoes: I race in Mizuno Wave Riders 18. I might wear my Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 this weekend though.
  • Socks: I totally forgot my favorite socks when I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon. Make sure you pack the ones you want.
  • Sports Bra: Typically Lululemon Free to Be or Free to Be Wild (pictured). They leave funny tan lines (warning) and are made for yoga but I’m basically flat chested so… I don’t need much support.
  • Hat/Sunglasses: Self explanatory. I don’t run in sunglasses but I also forgot my hat during Pittsburgh and immediately regretted it. It keeps the sweat out of your eyes.
  • Arm Band
  • Garmin (and charger!): I use a Garmin 10 and it’s the most basic model. It’s perfect for what I need day-to-day – milage, pace, time of day and time running.
  • Hydration Belt/Race Belt (if you wear one): I don’t (anymore)
  • Throwaway Clothes (if the race is going to be cold)
  • Sunscreen: UV protection is no joke.
  • Gels: I’ve used the Vega Endurance Gel (pictured) because it’s all natural… it’s date based, not sucralose or whatever based. I use Gu as well – honestly, whatever sounds good that morning.
  • Pre-Race Food: Lately I’ve been eating gluten-free toast with a banana and peanut butter before a race. I used to eat oatmeal – it’s really whatever I’m feeling that morning, but both work for me. Oatmeal is great because you can pack it and make it in a hotel room with the coffee machine. Justin’s makes individual nut butter packets you can take and uh, if you have to have me tell you where to buy/how to pack a banana there’s bigger issues at hand.
what-to-pack-for-a-destination-race | almost getting it together

Race day essential foods!

Pack these things in your checked bag

  • Post-Race Recovery Food/Hydration: I always have a shake of coconut water/almond milk/some mixture of the two and Vega Sport Performance Protein after a race/long run. I’m rarely as sore the next day and it helps curb the runger/gives me a ton of protein. I’ll also drink Vega Post-Work Out Recovery Accelerator or Nuun.
  • Compression Socks: Might be the placebo effect but wearing them makes me less sore the next day typically. Especially when flying – my toes turn into Vienna Sausages (ew).
  • Change of clothes (including under things!) and deodorant: Duh.
  • ShowerPillThese basically make you feel like you took a shower. Obsessed.
  • Flip-flops or comfy, open-toed shoes: Forgot these during the San Francisco Half-Marathon and regretted it from the time I realized it at mile 11.

My friends at Vega are helping me celebrate Seawheeze this weekend by giving away a Marathon Training Kit that is worth over $300! It includes two Performance Proteins, Pre-Workout Energizer, Post-Work Out Recovery Accelerator and Hydrator (think calorie free Gatorade or Nuun that you put into your water).

Vega Sport Bundle - Full Marathon | almost getting it together

Win this Vega Sport Bundle – Full Marathon below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re looking to win other things this week, head over to Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds for even more giveaways.

This post has affiliate links – thanks for supporting the brands that I love! Vega provided the giveaway but I love the brand and mission so all opinions are my own!

Chat with me:
Have you ever ran a destination race? What are things you must pack? Do you have any race-day rituals?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 8.3

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Remember last week when I said nothing interesting happened to me that week? I forgot that I SAW A COYOTE. In the city! Chrissy and I were hiking (loose term) after work in Mt. Sutro Nature Reserve and a coyote crossed the path in front of us. He was kind of cute but I was mostly terrified. Like… what do I do if I see a coyote? According to my immediate Google search, he was more scared of me than I was scared of him.

This weekend is another jam-packed one. Long run Saturday, stand-up paddle boarding and East Bay adventures planned, brunch on Sunday, hopefully getting my brows/nails done before heading to Vancouver for Seawheeze (!!!) next weekend, maybe another hike… and it’s Outside Lands! I’m tempted to go on Sunday with a friend who asked but… festivals. I might have out-aged that situation.

I was too busy double-working out all week (NTC workouts on the Marina Green while tourists comment “I just love San Francisco, everyone is working out all the time” and SoulCycle) in the evenings to do much blog writing/reading, but here are the best links I found this week!

Looking for a small town US vacation this year? Maybe try one of the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015.

I want to visit Boon Hotel + Spa, and Guerneville in general, soon. Stop being so perfect, Northern California.

15 Good Travel Habits – I think I follow most of these. Still working on getting everywhere early… and carrying extra copies of my passport and ID because I got lazy and cocky and stopped doing that.

I get the Sunday Blues pretty hard sometimes but these Tips to Make Monday Suck Less are definitely helpful.

Google is going to start telling you how long wait lines at restaurants are… which in SF is at least two hours, unless it’s 11 PM and then it’s one.

I meant to bring this up weeks ago, but did you know there’s about to be a musical version of The OC? That show totally influenced my high school style and lifelong musical taste. Anything Marisa Cooper wore I had to buy.

Health and Fitness
Too busy to stretch? Now you can go to a class for that. There’s a Stretch Lab in LA now… but I would totally go if there was one in SF.

Pumps & Iron’s workouts always kill me so I’m excited to try her Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout.

I knew I liked Kylie from Immeatthat but I’m basic-ally (pun intended) obsessed after she made this Basic Bitch Salad with Rose Dressing.

Don’t throw away those corn husks! You can do things like bake fish or make tamales or cook sticky rice in them.

Watch 13 Sandwiches From Around the World be assembled. Some look amazing (choripan) and most others look awful with the exception of Croque Monsieur, bahn mi and PB&J.

Your favorite food combination might tell what kind of friend you are. Once again, how am I supposed to choose? I guess I’m avocado toast?

Chat with me:
What does your favorite food combo tell about what kind of friend you are? What’s the most basic thing you love? What TV show influenced your life?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 7.27

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3 

I don’t have any fun stories for you this week like living through an earthquake. Since I’ll just sit here trying to be funny for 30 minutes, I’ll spare you and just give you the best links I found this week.

I want to visit NYC just to eat at these restaurants featuring food from far off places like Tibet, Venezuela and Sri Lanka.

I’m not the “all-inclusive resort” type… but these all-inclusive luxury resorts that are affordable (they’re making that term very liberal) look pretty awesome – especially the one in Utah.

Marisa from Uproot From Oregon’s Glacier National Park To Do List makes me want to pack my bags for Montana even faster than I typically want to pack my bags for Montana.

I hadn’t heard of a cooking club until this article from The Kitchn… and now I want to start my own. SF friends, who is going to join?

Being an adult is hard. You have to do things like pay rent and do your own laundry and clean out your fridge. These tips for keeping a home are really great (and I follow most of them!).

Do you think you’re a rational person? I don’t think that I am and this test tells me I’m definitely not.

Running and Fitness
I’m a huge fan of Runner’s Connect podcast, Run to the Top. I’ve been listening to Podcasts all week running slow, stiff recovery miles. I mentioned earlier this week I’m trying to lose weight right now and these eight nutrition tips for runners are great.

A collection of awesome running tweets. Fun fact: before I

These Protein Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches from the Vega team definitely have to happen soon. I’m thinking this weekend?

Despite realizing my diet is basically 40% fat (a little high), I still refuse to ever give up nut butter. Here are 12 Awesome Homemade Nut Butters I rounded-up for Brit + Co.

Here’s what your favorite ice cream flavor says about you. Mine depends on the day but I guess if someone told me I could only have one flavor the rest of my life… maybe mint chocolate chip?

Let’s keep the ice cream theme going today since summer (for everyone not in California) is almost over. Here’s ice cream and wine pairings you should try.

Chat with me:
What does your favorite ice cream flavor say about you? Do you keep your home clean and tidy? What’s the most interesting regional food you’ve eaten?

Getting it Together on the Road: Big Sur Travel Guide

Big Sur Travel Guide | Almost Getting it Together

Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful or amazing that you can’t get it out of your head when you lay down to go to sleep? Before 4th of July weekend, that list was somewhat short – Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Versailles in Paris, an active volcano in Hawaii and now, Big Sur. I’ve been very fortunate to see a lot in my short 26 years and I’m even more fortunate that one of these is in my back yard.

Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together Big Sur Travel Guide | Almost Getting it Together Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

Big Sur was absolutely magical and just the weekend I needed. My friend Chrissy and I road tripped from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo, spending Friday and Sunday in Big Sur proper. There wasn’t cell reception. I got a sunburn. We ate an entire bucket of shellfish (and no allergic reaction to Dungeness Crab, which was a relief after I had one a couple months ago). I could finally detach from all of the stress from work and life and blogging.


mcway falls big sur | almost getting it together

McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

  • Hike Julia Pfieffer State Park
    You know those idyllic photos of a waterfall on a white sandy beach going into the ocean? Yeah, that’s here. That hike is like a quarter mile and a total joke but if you go around the parking lot and take the Canyon Trail you’ll go up into the Ewoldsen loop. From there, you can take the water trail and see – you guessed it – water from the Pacific Ocean. It’s super epic. We were going to keep going to the Tin House Trail and onto a vista point but we saw a dismembered skunk skull and animal droppings and decided we should probably turn around and not turn into a bear’s lunch. Plus, it was foggy.
Andrew Molera State Park Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

We stumbled upon this private beach on our hike.

  • Hike Andrew Molera State Park
    We did this hike on Friday and it was a great start to the trip – and a great way to get me to sleep nine hours straight (much needed). We went the wrong direction (we wanted to end at the ocean instead of starting there) but it was okay because it was pretty foggy (surprise, surprise). There was a ton of elevation gain and if you are willing to scramble over a pile of driftwood you will find a private beach.
Andrew Molera State Park Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

No words.

  • Stop at Vista Points
    There are plenty of places to stop for photo ops on the drive. Definitely get on the road early before it’s overrun by tourists (except I was one too, I guess?). Channel your inner-Ben Gibbard and take a photo at Bixby Canyon Bridge.
Bixby Canyon Bridge Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

Bixby Canyon Bridge

Bixby Canyon Bridge Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

Bixby Canyon Bridge


big-sur - 10

Nepenthe in Big Sur

The View from Nepenthe in Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

The View from Nepenthe

  • Nepenthe
    You’ll feel like you just stepped back into the 1970s at this place but man, are the views worth it. I had just finished an eight-ish mile hike with a lot of elevation change and very little breakfast but I still think this place was great. We split a burger and got two salads – the Caprese and the beet salad (and a half-bottle of Rose because #roseseason). The burger came with a bean salad too and you know with my current bean obsession I was all over that.
Nepenthe in Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

Eating all the food and taking all the terrible photos.

Nepenthe in Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

Incase there was any doubt I’ve ever eaten a burger on bread – here is proof.

Nepenthe in Big Sur | Almost Getting it Together

Beet salad.

  • Big Sur Bakery
    I struggle slightly with putting this on the list. The food is great but the service can be hit or miss. We stopped for a post-hike lunch on Friday and I got a salad with chicken salad and bread because I lost all abandon for basically a week and ate all the gluten (then hated seeing myself in a bikini until the last day in Mexico, hence total lack of bikini photos).We went back for breakfast pre-hike on Sunday only to be told they weren’t really serving breakfast for another hour and a half. Our only choices were pastries and a joke of a yogurt parfait (aka trifle). When I asked for more yogurt the waitress who was channeling Adam Driver’s sister from Girls with her eyebrow grooming choices told me they had fruit with yogurt for breakfast… at 10:30. Okay, cool. You don’t have to turn on a stove to spoon some more yogurt in a bowl and then take like $10 for it because it’s over-priced but you’re in the middle of the California coast and you have three options and each are 10 miles apart. As you can tell, I’m slightly bitter – but honestly it’s good (albeit pricer than even what I pay for meals in SF) and maybe that one girl just sucked.
Big Sur Bakery | Almost Getting it Together

Big Sur Bakery


Big Sur Bakery – Greens Salad with added chicken salad.


  • Hiking Boots
    Now that I’m a real life California resident who goes on adventures and stuff, I need to make a trip to REI and buy hiking boots. I could have totally used them on our hikes.
  • Snacks
    You can check out my Healthy Hiking Snacks post for ideas but I love Picky Bars because they actually make me feel satiated. I also love Vega One Bars because they are meal replacement bars with a ton of protein, fiber and even some Omega 3s and a serving of greens. I’m also a major fan of Kind Bars. I kind of rotate through all three of those.
  • Shower Pill Athletic Wipes
    A lot of these trails were SO dusty. I wore shorts one day and was just covered in dust and grime – super attractive to picture, I know (but I ran cross-country in high school, so I’ve been accustomed to getting dirty outside for a long time). You probably still have a couple hours in the car post-hike unless you’re staying somewhere in Big Sur proper so it’s nice to feel clean.

Chat with me:
Have you been to Big Sur? Any places I missed? What place have you been that made you lay awake thinking about because it was so beautiful?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 7.7

Thanks for all your kind words last week on my near-nervous breakdown. If anyone could give me just one more hour in the day, that would be great. I’m going to have to write a post on how to deal with a mega-packed schedule soon.

Once again, this week was a whirlwind. I accidentally wasted an hour or two falling down the Internet rabbit hole one evening so I was able to find the best links this week to bring you.

Molly Yeh makes me want to go to LA, mainly to go to Eggslut.

I’m obsessed with Canada… so since I’m crossing British Columbia and Vancouver off my list next month, I guess Banff is next. I am basically going to do Davida’s trip over again.

Dad, if you’re reading this, we need to go to Cuba before Americans ruin it.

One place I’m sad I didn’t make it to when I was living in Hong Kong is Bali.

Work can totally affect your whole life. Luckily, despite my job being stressful, I work with a lot of really kind and talented people whom I like. Nevertheless, Rashida Jone’s Essential Guide to Happiness at Work is really helpful to keep in mind.

I have this strange feeling being a good hostess is in my blood. My family is pretty fantastic at making sure everyone is happy and feels welcome – and is well fed. Maybe it’s also my inability to not keep everyone around me happy.

Cupcakes and Cashmere has a clothing line! And I want everything of course.

After working for a denim company and hearing feedback from customers that $30 jeans are too expensive, this is a great breakdown on what costs are incurred in $200 jeans to $20 jeans.

I’ve been loving How Sweet Eats salads lately – I’ve made two in the past month. This Arugala Kale Reggiano Salad looks like everything.

I want to health-ify this Blueberry & Ricotta Skillet Cake.

Being in Big Sur last weekend made me want to go camping. I think I’m just intrigued by camping because of camping foods.

Confession: Part of the reason I’ve been so stressed and busy is because I’m now a contributor to Brit + Co! Check out my first post – 10 Crazy Colorful Spiralized Salads for Summer.

Chat with me:
What place do you want to visit for one specific restaurant? What would you do with an extra hour in the day? How do you stay happy at work?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 6.29

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3

This morning I made a firm decision – I’m not into smoothie bowls. I LOVE acai bowls – when I don’t make them myself. I’m also a failure at making them. You can strip me of my healthy lifestyle blogger status right now.

I really have been craving an acai bowl but haven’t had a chance to grab one the past few days so I tried making my own for about the 100th time. It was AWFUL. It was weird acai soup even though I only added 1/4 cup of almond milk. Maybe I need to stop adding greens (today it was chard). I don’t know, I was just bummed out eating it and not satisfied and jealous of everyone who had a better breakfast than me. That is every “smoothie bowl” breakfast I eat. I’m officially done.

Anyway, no one cares about how I have a slight vendetta against homemade acai bowls or smoothie bowls because it’s America’s birthday so we have hot dogs to eat and founding fathers to celebrate. Here are the best links I found this week – I think there are some real gems this week.

I think my number one deal-breaker in a guy would be a picky eater. I love to eat and he should have a similar palette as me – it’s okay if it’s not quite so kale heavy. Anyway, these ideas of honeymoons (or trips) for food lovers is genius.

Oakland is the new Brooklyn or something like that. People, go visit Oakland and make SF less congested, please!

Looking for a good fitness vacation this year but afraid of the price tag? Greatist has your budget-friendly fitness vacations covered.

Does how you take your coffee dictate your decorating personality? I like my coffee black – or iced – but my place seems like a mash of all of these…

Are you a morning person or a night owl? I’m up and ready for the day by 6 a.m., even on the weekends. Also, I’m terrible at sleeping so that is part of it.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt like there was an insane pressure to be happy all the time. I’m generally a happy person but sometimes when I’m not I feel guilty about it. This article is a good reminder all emotions are okay.

Life isn’t black and white – there are a lot of grey areas. Just because you don’t have time for a six mile run doesn’t mean you can’t get in a few miles (a good reminder for me). This post by Sarah of Picky Runner is amazing – life isn’t all or nothing.

Eight easy ways to upgrade your steamed veggies – maybe I should start steaming my veggies more?

I want to make these muesli cookies ASAP – and less than 100 calories a cookie, too!

I’m very anti-preservative… this is what food additives look like before they go into your food.

Need these Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls in my life.

Chat with me:
Smoothie bowls – love them or leave them? What do you love that other people don’t? What is the best thing you read all week?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 6.22

Photo credit 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Happy Friday! Isn’t it weird how Friday changes from when you were a kid (or in college) to when you were an adult? Except I kind of felt the same on Fridays in college as I do now because I was typically hungover from Thursday… why did I not heed the re-hydrating properties of coconut water as a senior when I had heard rumors of this magic potion? My Fridays wouldn’t have been so wrecked.

Speaking of being an adult, I have spent the past few weekends working on my gallery wall and now all that’s left is the actual hanging, which is stressing me out. It’s also stressing me out that I’m like a real adult and worrying about shit like decorating on my Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Times like these (and basically every day at most times) I wish my dad were a short drive away so he could come hang my pictures in places they won’t hit me on the head if there’s an earthquake.

Enough with my big exciting life that is home decor and on with the best links from the week.

Doesn’t Alaska feel like the great unknown? I would have no clue where to start planning for a trip there if it weren’t for Gal Meets Glam’s Alaska Itinerary.

Can we all agree that airport/airplane food is typically the worst? Here are some of Food52 editors’ favorite foods that fly well.

This list of awesome Chicago summer spots makes me want to escape Karl the Fog and head east.

Nashville has been on my must-visit list for a while.

Totally loving all these looks from the CFDA X Neiman Marcus party. Now I need a reason to dress up in SF…

I relate to this post on dealing with anxiety and heartbreak on so many levels. True story – dealing with your problems and trying to heal is a lot harder than staying depressed and anxious.

These pro tips to get your shit together will help with your summer cleaning. Is that a thing? I am wondering how I have accumulated so much stuff in 8 months…

I need to invest in some food props… this list of Seven Photography Resources that Changed My Blog from In It 4 the Long Run is awesome.

Running and Fitness
This post on the Top Five Confessions of a Fitness Professional made me feel so much better about every group fitness class I have ever taken – including the one time I took both Ashley’s BodyAttack and BodyPump classes back to back!

Ever wonder why your fitness class is so expensive? I am going to let you in on a little secret – paying almost $30 for a 45 minute spin class will ensure you get your ass there… early.

As I contemplate a fall marathon (Portland) here’s a nice reminder on how running 26.2 miles wrecks your body.

I’m having my friend Sam over for dinner Saturday night… and I’m totally suggesting we make Erin’s Plantain Sweet Potato Tacos with Guacamole.

I think we can all agree… gelato > ice cream (but ice cream still rules).

Definitely having this Grain-free Breakfast Cobbler from immaEATthat next week for breakfast.

Chat with me:
What confession would surprise people about your job? How do you handle anxiety and heartbreak? And most importantly… gelato or ice cream?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 6.13

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I would like to think I have brought good luck to the city of San Francisco. The day I moved here the Giants won the World Series and now the Warriors won the NBA Championship. I stayed out of the craziness Tuesday night because I like not being a victim of arson but there were some really great Tweets I read including:

“Not only are all those Warriors fans celebrating right in Cleveland’s face, but afterward they get to go back to the Bay Area.” — Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) June 17, 2015


Those may have been the best tweets this week, but here are the best links I found:

This list of bucket list travel locales is insane… and so cool to discover two are only a few hours away from SF!

So I want to go to Iceland but I dry the line at puffin burgers.

Burrata ice cream basically makes me want to go to NYC right now.

Now that I’ve worked on both coasts, I can say there is a difference between working on the East Coast and the West Coast.

This is a terrible confession, but I haven’t done my own nails in over four years. I used to get so excited about what color combinations to get and now I’m just overwhelmed… these nail and toenail polish pairs from Cupcakes and Cashmere are going to take the stress out of my next mani/pedi. (I know, my life is so rough.)

I cannot wait to read Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance.

Dear execs, this is not how you act after laying a bunch of your employees off. The best line is “Rose-Fuled Hunger Games Reference“. I love working in retail America.

Running and Fitness
A really interesting article on ultra-runners over-training and burning out after just a few years, but how else can you train to run 100 miles?

And on that note, a top ultra-runner who started performing better when she stopped running like crazy and started cross-training in every other way possible.

I need to get in the pool ASAP and up my surf-focused workouts for a little trip that is in the works…

Sometimes races are as much about the laser-focused training as they are about the event. This working mother talks about her Ironman training.

I unapologetically love mustard. I really want to try making my own soon along with ketchup, pickle relish and more of your summer BBQ necessities.

What does your favorite wine order say about you?

I have to make these green scallop tacos ASAP.

I’m already dreaming about these strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes post-long run on Saturday.

Chat with me:
Has anyone else’s energy been so low this week? What foods have you been lusting over lately? Would you ever want to train for a crazy endurance event? Have you ever went on a rose-fueled tirade?

The Best Coffee Shops in San Francisco


My favorite types of people are those who require as much caffeine as I do to function. I track my sleep via my Fitbit (PSA – It’s on sale for $80 right now from Amazon?!) and I’m assuming the six hours of sleep I average a night is cause for that. It isn’t for lack of trying… I just wake up between 5:30-6:00 a.m. no matter what.

Getting an afternoon coffee is basically my favorite ritual of the day. I actually stopped drinking coffee for about two years in college and my first year out of school. I gave it up because of the milk and sugar calories and then because I do things like stop sleeping to hang out with boys, started again a little over three years ago because I was trying to get through the work day. I missed the ritual of getting coffee so much. It isn’t the same with tea. I loved going into a coffee shop, carrying my little paper cup… the whole thing.

I don’t enjoy Starbucks coffee. Their coffee is burned and just awful, but in a pinch, I’ll get a tea or an iced coffee there. Also, how are they the only place left on the planet that doesn’t have almond milk? And their coconut milk is full of fillers and preservatives… yuck.

Luckily this isn’t Pittsburgh with sub-par coffee (that thinks it is good) and a lack of almond milk. San Francisco takes its coffee seriously. Actually, it takes most things seriously and actually gives a shit about doing stuff the best.

On a trip to Kona with my dad two years ago, I started drinking my coffee black. Kona coffee is the best coffee – and if you want to drink your coffee black, it’s usually pretty milk so this is a great bean to start weaning yourself off of sugar and cream. So what I’m saying is this is a list of coffee places that have actual amazing coffee since I don’t junk mine up.

The Best Coffee Shops in San Francisco

Tiny Warrior (18th and Mission)
I wish I hadn’t planned on eating Bi-Rite the day I went to Tiny Warrior. They have fancy iced coffees (a Moroccan one with cardamom, cinnamon and clove syrup, for example) and CHOCOLATE ICE CUBES. Yes, that’s a thing.

Sightglass Coffee (7th and Folsom, Divisadero and Page and 20th and Florida)
Sightglass is my favorite SF coffee brand. I totally trust any coffee shop that brews Sightglass. Their flagship space in SoMa is gorgeous and has lots of treats. They also have an affogato bar that I am determined to try one day post-long run with SALT AND STRAW ICE CREAM. Get out of town! Grab a vanilla iced coffee with almond milk and think of me.


Okay this photo is from the Mill but…. #toast.

Trouble Coffee (Judah and 25th)
Another coffee aficionado that is no longer mentioned on this blog said what I was thinking when we were here – these guys are kind of jerks but this is maybe the best coffee ever. They don’t have a menu so basically know what you want or read the Yelp reviews. Basically you’re supposed to get a coconut and a cinnamon toast when you’re here… I got an iced-coffee because it was post Lands End-Ocean Beach run. I’ll be back for you, coconut and cinnamon toast.

Andytown Coffee Roasters (Lawton and 43rd)
Post-long run at Ocean Beach I needed a coffee and quickly. A quick yelp search brought me to Andytown. Then there were warm gluten free strawberry corn muffins fresh out of the oven and I promptly ordered one with my coffee, which is something I don’t do often… and don’t regret. Their known-for coffee is the Snowy Plover which is San Pellegrino and whipped cream in coffee… what?!

Blue Bottle Coffee (locations throughout the city)
Basically SF is known for Blue Bottle Coffee and their Vietnamese Iced Coffee which is made with condensed milk. You can even buy it in cute little milk cartons now. I would go by Blue Bottle pretty much every day when I was on a photo shoot in NYC a couple years ago and wistfully wish I were in SF… and now I am! Anyway, they take their coffee seriously and it’s always amazing and just… go.


This latte at Jane on Fillmore turned out not to be mine… whoops.

Jane on Fillmore (Fillmore and California)
When I’m feeling ambitious I’ll walk up to Jane. It’s about a mile and a half from my apartment… uphill. Fillmore is no joke, but one of my favorite streets in the city. They have Stumptown coffee (!!!) and amazing house-made chai. They also do a lot of gluten free and vegan baked goods and salads and brunch things like that. Their spot is super cute and has an awesome playlist and I’m obsessed.



Philz Coffee (locations throughout the city… and a truck in the Marina on the weekends!)
I’m basically trying to drink my way through Philz menu. They have probably 30 different blends of beans and you tell them how you take your coffee (milk, almond milk, sugar, etc.) and they make it for you. Each cup is poured to order and then they shake it with all your goodies in a martini shaker. The Mint Mojito Iced Coffee lasts me approximately 30 seconds. Going to the Philz Truck at some point on the weekend is must-do for me.

Peet’s (locations throughout the city)
If I have to throw in a national chain, I’m going to pick one that started across the Bay in Berkeley. There is a Peet’s “flagship” in the Marina that my dad and I frequented every afternoon when we were apartment hunting. If I need to get work done and don’t feel like leaving the neighborhood, I head down to Peet’s.

Places I want to try: Equator Coffee, David Rho Chai Bar, Matching Half, 20th Century Cafe, Home Coffee, Blue Fig

Chat with me:
What is your go-to coffee order? Have you been to any of these coffee shops? What is a habit that you really enjoy in people?