Tag Archives: Yoga

h a r t s

28 Feb


My new last name has lead to me really enjoying Valentine’s Day (even if t is a cheesy Hallmark holiday). Bring on the hearts.

This month was all about wellness. I attended 34 yoga classes and did my best to make healthy choices. I cut way down on my wine intake (upped the H20 intake) and logged lots of mindful moments in my Fitbit. I’m feeling like a million bucks and ready to retox tomorrow at my company’s 15th Birthday happy hour.

I have been feeling grateful that both my Hubby and I love our jobs. It’s rare to find a career path that feeds your soul in a positive way. We are both so lucky to work where we do.

Hope you had a fantastic February and you have fun on the horizon in March. Cheers!

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Fitbit Wars

28 Feb


Each night before I go to bed I write one sentence in my journal. I write down the happiest part of my day. It grounds me. It helps me keep negative thoughts at bay. It’s pretty wild that I set this goal five years ago and I am on the last year of my journal. It trips me out looking back on the last four years.

The Dip

Hartman and I had some hurdles this month. He is the love of my life and we are committed to always putting our love for each other above all else. Being together for so long we know how to push each others buttons. At the end of the day we have worked through it and are moving forward. The grass is greener where you water it.

The Bursts

January was kind of a $hit show health wise. Lots of unwellness so I decided to make February all about wellness. I completed a 28 day yoga challenge as well as a 28 day Fitbit challenge which was quickly renamed the “Fitbit Wars” in my office since we are all so ridiculously competitive. Exploring San Diego on foot was a major bonus. I joined Pure Indoor Cycling in January and have been kicking off my Friday mornings spinning with KT Steel. KT is quickly becoming my partner in crime and I am very excited about this development. She makes life fun. We even spent Valentine’s Day together since our men were away at a conference. I also went sober for the month and didn’t drink a drop of booze. It was good for me to recharge my batteries and be so good to my body. I am feeling like a million bucks. Your health really is your greatest wealth.

What filled your heart with gratitude this February?



















A Boot

28 Feb


It’s supposed to rain today in San Diego. I really REALLY want it to. I’m home alone this weekend because Hartman is in Santa Barbara with his college long time forever friend, Marco Polo. Marco has a major travel bug. He likes to explore the unknown and his job allows him to do so. He leaves for a crazy long trip on Monday. Santa Barbara is my favorite place in the world but I decided to stay home for a chill weekend because I have a crazy busy week ahead of me. I need some zen leading up to it. Plus, it’s good to let the boys be boys and have time sans the old ball and chain tagging along. Hartman informed me that they didn’t make it to bed until 3:30am last night and that is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past my bed time. I’m glad they are having a good time. My plan for the weekend with The Tree House all to myself is to binge watch House of Cards. Fingers crossed for the pitter patter of rain drops while I do so.

As I type this blog, Hartman and Marco are living the Santa Barbara dream sitting on the patio at Brophy Brothers at a sic corner table over looking the harbor.  They sent me some pictures of the awesomeness. It makes me super duper happy.

Marco Polo, have the BEST time on your grand adventure. Stay safe. Beware of international mustards. Love you lots, amigo.



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Sidebar…  I considered breaking up with Hartman last night. He accidentally took the Apple TV remote to Santa Barbara with him in his fleece pocket. After tearing the house apart looking for it he talked me off the ledge and guided me to a way to access our Netflix sans Apple TV. No one gets in the way of this lady and her binge watching House of Cards. So, Hartman and Vogel will remain a couple.

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February has been insanely busy for me. Here is the dip and the burst of my month.

The dip has been me feeling overwhelmed. Work has been rather stressful lately and I have a lot more on my plate. Some of the projects I have been working on are not my comfort zone so I have been pushing myself to grow. I don’t enjoy change and it has taken every ounce of my being to not go into a full on melt down. I’m going to make it a goal of mine to remain calm in moments of extreme frustration in the months ahead. I have been letting things get the best of me and I hate that feeling. My anxiety has been welling up. The feeling of an elephant on my chest is the worst.

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I completed the Yoga Six 28 Day February Challenge this month which means I went to 28 classes (29 if you count Law Street Beach yoga too). That has helped me work through a lot of my anxiousness. Considering how crazy my schedule has been I’m really proud of myself. And of course, my journal always helps center me even on the most difficult of days.

There are a few other things that are on my mind but I realized that some things just can’t be written here. Some issues have to be kept closer to the heart. I have faith that in the end it will be alright. If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

Onto the yummy stuff…

The burst of my month is shockingly what I thought was my dip last month. Hartman broke his left foot at work in the weirdest way. I thought this was going to put a major damper on our routine. He is still in A BOOT and hobbling around, however, we’ve been able to spend way more time together because of his broken foot. Hartman has worked in restaurants ever since I met him. When he got his big boy career going a year ago, he still kept a few nights a week at the restaurant because the money is so good. Well, it takes two feet to wait tables. He has been on leave while his foot heals which means I get to hang with my man seven nights a week. I have been enjoying the extra time so much. It makes me so happy to spend so much time with my guy.


Hartman’s family from Canada came to town this month for a family reunion. We took over two beach front condos in Mission Beach. His broken foot put a damper on some of the activities he was looking forward to doing but we didn’t have to stress for a second about if he’d be able to get the time off work. Hartman was rocking A BOOT and his family says A BOOT instead of about. Twenty Five Canadians made for a wild weekend. I hadn’t seen this side of his family since their last family reunion in 2007, so it was a delight to catch up. My precious nieces are too cute for words and I had a major burst of joy when Riley Grace called me “Auntie”.  She is so freaking cute I can’t even handle it. Watching the kids play hide and seek between the two condos brought back so many memories from my childhood.


Hartman and I both will be forever grateful that they made the long (and expensive) journey to San Diego. The next family reunion is scheduled for August of 2018 in Canada when his Grandma turns 100 years old. That is going to be quite the party.

So, I strike from the record my dip from last month’s blog. The broken foot was actually a blessing in disguise. I keep teasing him that I am going to go full Tonya Harding on him when he starts to get better.

March is manana. That’s cray. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. Now, take a moment to think about how beautiful your life is.

P.S. Enjoy a few pictures from our Family Reunion…

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SLOMO Below!


Summer Fridays

31 Jul


July is over. So cray. I can hardly believe it’s about to be the last month of summer. Summer makes me so happy. San Diego weather is normally amazing but this summer it has been EXTRA AWESOME. The weekends have been bright and sunny. The standard ‘May Grey-June Gloom-July Why is It STILL Foggy’ never happened. I am going to maximize the last weeks of summer fun and take full advantage. I am so grateful for this life and the beautiful place I call home.

July was a great month. If friends are the family that you choose, I have made fantastic choices.

Birthday Boy

We started my love’s Birthday celebration at the end of June because his actual birthday fell midweek. We had a quiet celebration day of, just the two of us, at the Patio On Goldfinch. Dinner was delish and we had a lovely time. I made a heath bar ice cream pie for his dessert. It was super yummy. The only problem with making an ice cream pie is that it’s the only thing you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, when it’s sitting in your freezer. I had to cut us off and take the last of it to work to save ourselves from our insatiable cravings for his decadent birthday dessert.




4th of July

Two of our long time forever friends, Joey and Nat, drove down from San Francisco to celebrate the 4th of July with us in San Diego. Our entire weekend was engulfed by surfing and baseball. The Giants were in town playing the Padres. Many new inside jokes were formed over the course of the weekend. One of my favorites was so simple. It truly defines the type of friends we are. On Saturday morning we woke up and started watching ‘Taken 2’. Liam Neeson is the star of the movie. We sat on the couch and made fun of the entire movie. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Joey and Nat are two of the greats. We are so lucky to call them close friends after all these years.




Summer Fridays

My company has implemented compressed work weeks for summer. We work nine hour days Monday through Thursday. Since we are working longer hours the first part of the week we only have to work a half day on Friday. I have been taking full advantage of summer Fridays. I have been wearing my bikini to work underneath a dress. I head directly to the beach or a park to lie out and read as soon as my day is done. It has made this summer extra enjoyable. It’s just one more reason to add to the laundry list of why I love my job.




Crown Royal

Another long time forever friend from our Santa Barbara days came to stay with us to kick off his birthday festivities. Oumar is a ray of sunshine. His energy is infectious. I simply adore him. It was an honor to cook him a steak dinner to toast his birthday-ness. It was his first time taking over The Tree House guest room. I hope he will return sooner than later. It was such a pleasure catching up with him. He always brings a smile to my face. HBD Oumar!




My best friend is getting married next month to the most amazing guy. Her best girl friends gathered together for a wild weekend in Palm Springs to toast this majorly happy milestone. The weekend was legendary. And that is all I am going to write about that.








I am a firm believer that the most precious thing you can give someone is your time. Whenever I am bopping around town I try to see if my friends are free for a visit. Even if we only have time for a quick chat, I squeeze it in. I had the pleasure of seeing many friends this month and they all were spur of the moment visits. They brought me so much happiness in my heart. I miss my nephew so much and I love spending time with other munchkins that remind me of him. A text of “Hey, do you wanna _______” is all it takes to bring happiness to your day sometimes.





Yoga Six

I found my love of yoga in October 2013. I have been obsessed ever since. I completed my hardest Y6 Yoga Challenge this month. I had to take at least two of each type of class they offer. This meant that I had to take the advance classes that I am normally too chicken to take. I am one class away from completing my challenge. By end of day, I will have taken 22 classes this month. I feel incredible. Looking forward to erasing all of my health and wellness next week at my best friend’s wedding.



I am thrilled for August because I get to witness the BEST DAY EVER. My bestie, Smalls, is getting married. So much planning has gone into this wedding and I can’t wait to be in the moment, sipping a glass of champagne, and soaking it all in. It will be magic on another level.


Thank you

It blows my mind that anyone cares to read about my life. My intention with this blog was to dig myself out of a hole I was stuck in. Looking at the happy moments each month and chronicling it here is my therapy. The fact that anyone cares enough to read really does make me feel special.

As you finish up reading, I hope you take a moment to sit back and think about the happy moments in your life.

Do it.




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31 Oct


October can be summed up in one word: Yoga.

gap intelligence started an office wellness yoga challenge on October 3rd .  By the end of today, October 31st, I will have attended 50 classes this month.  I am obsessed.  Yoga makes my heart happy.

The winner of the yoga challenge gets a free one month membership to YogaSix.  I think I have a pretty good chance of winning it (just a bit).  I was skeptical when I attended my first hot yoga class.  I hate saunas so as excepted I did not enjoy my first outing.  I decided to give it another chance though.  After my second class I was hooked.  My balance and flexibility have made huge improvements over the month.  It calms my nerves and silences the crazy thoughts in my head.  I plan on incorporating hot yoga into my exercise routine moving forward.

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Mike and I woke up early one morning to watch the sunrise over San Diego at Mt. Soledad.  It was pretty cool.  Mike is not an early riser and it was his idea to my shock.  I’m glad we took some time to enjoy an early morning date.  As we watched the sun come up, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

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I received the most exciting mail from my best friend.  It’s crazy to be planning for something that is so far away.  I can hardly wait for August 6th, 2014.  This wedding is going to be epic and I am so thrilled to be a part of it.  The Smellon Wedding anticipation is so exciting I could burst.  It energizes me when I think about all the fun ahead next Summer.

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I just finished a really good book that my Grandma Sue recommended to me.  If you haven’t read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn you definitely should.  The reason my Grandma recommended it is because they are filming the movie adaptation where she lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (Ben Affleck is the star).  She sends me movie updates via email and I must say I do get a kick out of them.  They are usually pretty funny.  If you are a fan of Dateline you will love the book.  It’s a thriller.  I look forward to watching to movie when it finally comes out.  It will be cool to recognize the town it’s filmed in.  Like Anchorman in San Diego but in Missouri.  My Grandma sent two autographed copies of her cook book, Cookin’ & Talkin’, to Ben and the director of the movie with her friend that is an extra.  Naturally, I’m sure they are cooking up a storm with her recipes.


I had the pleasure of attending the 1st Annual Quigley Cup Golf Tournament in Santa Maria this month.  I also squeezed in a quick trip to Santa Barbara since it was on the way.  After a lovely visit with Diamond Dee power walking through the streets of Santa Barbara I was delighted to also get to spend time with my favorite celebrity couple, Markadie.  Mark and Sadie live in San Francisco and they were in SB to go camping.  We had a short but awesome leisurely catch up session sitting on the bar stools in the kitchen.  Surprise fun is the best kind sometimes.



After my Santa Barbara fun I headed to my Grandma and Grandpa Q’s in Santa Maria.  I enjoyed an endless flow of wine and lots of family time.  My Dad and Grandpa Fred took me to me to Presqu’ile for wine tasting.  It was one of the nicest wineries I have ever been too.  It was stunning (and the wine was fab).  The weekend’s festivities also included seeing my Dad’s band play, hanging at the Santa Maria Country Club, and watching the Red Sox beat the Tigers with my Grandma Connie.  My Grandparents were given the honor of having a golf tournament named after them because they have been members of “The Club” since 1968.  They are Santa Maria Country Club royalty as far as I am concerned.  I was happy to see my Grandpa Fred honored.  He got me an official Quigley Cup hat.  That was the cherry on the Sunday of a pretty perfect trip.








Reasons to toast seem to just keep on coming for my bestie, Smalls, and her fiancé, Pedro.  After jumping through a few hoops, they finally got the keys to their very own house.  They are officially living the ‘Merican Dream.  They are the proud first time home owners of a charming craftsman cottage that is steps away from all of the hippest restaurants and shops in Normal Heights.  I look forward to many fun nights in their new home.  Let the memory making begin!  We have already made a few and they have only been there a few weeks.  The neighbors will hate us soon enough (Happy Birthday to Chow! xoxo).



This past weekend Mike and I both won first place at the 1st Annual Random Halloween Chili & Cornbread Cook Off.  Our neighbors, Jill and Matt, were the gracious hosts.  Our commute was easy since the party was held in our back yard.  We made quite the mess in the kitchen with both of us cooking at the same time.  Mike took first place for his Chipotle Chili with Lime Crema Avocado Salsa.  I took first for my Buttermilk Cheddar Bacon Cornbread with Chive Honey Butter.  There was so much food, no one left hungry.  It was a really fun night.



That’s it for October.  November is shaping up to be a busy busy month.  Friday is a big day for Mike and me.  It’s our 8 year anniversary.  You can expect another blog coming off the press sooner than later.

Stay happy, my friends…

I Slept With Mrs. B.

31 Aug


Sh*t. I did. I slept with her. It happened. I slept with my best friend’s mom.

YIKES! Get your mind out of the gutter. Not that kind of slept with. Sheeeesh. I star fished on top of the bed fully clothed. The bed was big. I will give more details in a bit. Keep reading you pervs.

It’s been a hot minute since I spit hot fire via my blog. I decided that I wanted to post on the very last day of the month. Sorry for keeping you waiting. I felt a bit flattered when you asked what the holdup was. I was thrilled to know you were waiting. It trips me out when I look at my journal. With only four months left in the year it’s crazy to see the ribbon book mark split the book less and less. Life is crazy but awesome. Here is the run down for your reading pleasure as promised…

PRIDE was an amazingly fun day. The gayborhood brings the fun every time. I just want to go on record that I am happy that my bestie and I are both in love with men comfortable enough in their own skin to go gay bar hopping in Hillcrest during the height of rainbow-ness. Not all men are that secure unfortunately. We had so much fun. We capped it off with a fun night at The Tree House and a no hitter from the Giants’ Tim Lincecum. You can’t put a better bow on an already fun day.

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Life is beautiful. It hits you like a ton of bricks though when you are looking at the face of a tini-tiny baby. We were bestowed the luxury of meeting Baby Lafe (Mike’s Birthday Buddy) the day after PRIDE. Let’s just say he is beyond perfection. I will babysit for you any time. I genuinely mean that. Really. REALLY. I do.


One of my nearest and dearest is my bestie Aaric. I met Aaric when I was 17 years old in San Jose. He is a rare soul because everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in my family adores him. He is besties with my brother, Pablo, as well as me. Aaric and his entire family are invited to parties by both sides of my family. That is rare. I spent a really fun night catching up with him watching a Giants game at The Tree House. It was awesome. He just lights up my whole life. I think it’s necessary to put that in writing.

So if you are here just because you want the deets about how I ended up sleeping with my besties Mom, this is the paragraph for you. I mentioned last month that I was looking forward to catching up with Mrs. B. She was making the very very long flight from Australia to get a jump on wedding planning in California. Many MAJOR wedding decisions were made. I’m sworn to secrecy by the code all bridesmaids take. I know nothing and if I tell you, I have to kill you, and I mean it. After all these major life decisions were made we found it necessary to toast the awesomeness more than a few times. When the love of my life informed me that he would be staying at his friends for the night I decided that I would stay at Smalls. Little did I know, Mrs. B. was weaving a tangled web. I kid! I kid! I passed out on the guest bed. It was 100% nothing to be alarmed by. It’s the best thing ever to say though, “I slept with Mrs. B”. There is just something about it that is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo FUNNY! Cheers to sleeping in pink jeans that are way too tight. I woke up with maps all over my legs when I finally peeled those suckers off. Nonetheless, as expected I had the best time catching up with Small and Chow’s Mum. We even hosted a special night for her before she left San Diego at The Tree House. I lit a bazzilion candles and Chef Hartman manned the kitchen. We dined alfresco. It was perfection.


I don’t want to go into too many details because I believe talking about work is the most boring thing a person can talk about but I am completely caught up right now. I am actually more than caught up, I am ahead. It feels good. I hate being in the weeds.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I LOVE BASEBALL. My loyalty falls in line with any bay area team first and foremost. After that I will root for the Padres. Laying in bed on Sunday, August 4th, Mike mentioned that he really wished we bought tickets to see the Padres versus the Yankees. He was bummed because the game was sold out. I accepted his challenge instantly. These tickets may be sold out for the masses but not for a beloved gapper of gap intelligence. We logged in and what did we see, tickets. They may have been considered nose bleeds but we bought them regardless just to enjoy some summer baseball fun. To our shock and awe, these seats blew our mind. We were directly behind home plate in the upper deck. These seats were GLORIOUS. We had a BEYOND wonderful time soaking up the sight, sounds, and smells of the park. It was the perfect Sunday with the perfect guy. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded why you fell in love with someone. This was def one of those days.

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My neighborhood held a block party to commemorate National Night Out. This amazing ally side pot luck fun was quite the spectacle. If you want to make your neighbors awesome, add wine. My lovely friend/awesome-land-lady, Contessa K., was the perfect date. She supplied the food; I just pretended to be a contributor. Any night with the Contessa gets an A+ from me. We learned all about safety in our neighborhood. I got a thumbs up from the police to sit on my roof with a paint ball gun and blast the hoodlums that keep graffiti-ing the ally next to my house. You think I’m kidding. It’s so happening.

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Mike and I often worry that at some point we will be kicking ourselves for not taking full advantage of living right next door to Balboa Park. Through the wonders of social media we learned of a sunrise yoga class and decided that all though early we had to rally. It was awe inspiring to enjoy yoga in such a serene setting. We love where we have made our home. We have it good.

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I had a long chat with my Bestie from UCSB. She encouraged me to start making more time for myself. I have a tendency to put all of my focus and energy into those I love. Her recommendation was to start hiking. I took her advice wholeheartedly. There are canyons right next to my house. Mags is in the process of becoming a real life shrink. She is smoking hot and smoking smart. It’s wonderful because she shrinks all the mazzilion crazy thoughts that pop into my crazy head for free. I am grateful for her friendship after all these years. A trip to visit face to face is long overdue. Mags, I took these for you…

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The Mellons, Pedro’s fam bam, came to San Diego all the way from the UK. When you look up incredible family in the dictionary, you see a picture of them. We had a brilliant time touring San Diego with Pedro’s Mum, Dad, Bro, & Sis (a fellow bridesmaid in the Smellon Weddon as well). To say we were sad they left would be an understatement. The only solace we have is knowing they will be back a bunch with the wedding on the horizon next year. The Mogels heart the Mellons! We need more Mellons in our daily diet!

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I want to take a moment to give snaps to those friends that I can be 100% honest with. Some friends can’t handle honesty. It’s great to have people in your life that you don’t have to be guarded with. I had a few low points happen and I was able to lean on a rare few awesome peeps that lifted me right back up. You know who you are and I love you oh so much.

My gorgeous office roommate, C~BO, and I had a lovely gals night at the San Diego Padres WineFest at Petco Park. The wine was flowing and we took full advantage. This was our first night out on the town together. We capped it off at the new downtown hot spot Bang Bang that is famous for many reasons. One of their claims to fame in the beloved Ryan Gossling ladies room. It was a magical moment for both of us. I’m sure the bathroom attendant thought we were full on insane. HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to Sarini for passing her tickets our way. It’s good to be a gapper.


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I’m alone a lot because my boyfriend and I have opposite schedules. Sometimes it gets me down. It can be a bit lonely. I decided to stop dwelling on it though and focus on the positive. When you don’t have to consult any one on your plans, you can do whatever you want. There is no one to compromise with. That is the upside. As I was lying on the couch one night I decided to enjoy the wonderful proximity I live to Balboa Park by hopping on my Tangerine Dream Machine (my bike) to enjoy a silent movie at Speckles Organ Pavilion. I was surprised at how many people had my same idea. There were easily 200+ people there. As I perched near my bike I wanted to give myself a round of applause for not allowing myself to be lonely and making the most of my night. I did not, because that would be weird. But I could have.

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The Summer Sirens Dinner at the Carnitas Snack Shack was a night to remember. Stars aligned and we had a highly sought after couples date night with the very popular Haleys. The Haleys are the super fun couple that you are always trying to make plans with but they are so popular they are always booked. I was beyond ecstatic when they were free for a night of fun. We had a great time enjoying the MOST delicious dinner prepared by the best of the best SD chefs all while supporting a more than worthy cause. We were so photogenic (because we were beaming with fun) that our lovely limbs have made the coveted position as Carnitas Snack Shack’s cover photo on Facebook. Cheers to that!

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For those of you that are friends with me on Facebook my solo road trip got a lot of air time. I guess the idea of taking a road trip BY YOURSELF scared people. I got a lot of questions like, “were you bored”. The answer is a very loud HELL TO THE NO. I am making a resolution from this day forward to do a solo road trip every year. I had so much fun stopping where ever I wanted to snap pictures. I didn’t need to get a vote on where to eat. I love to listen to club jams while I am driving. I pumped up my jams at full volume and sung my way all the way to Paso Robles. I had a soul renewing visit with my oldest friend, Sarahbutt, and her AHHHHHHMAZING family, the Tyras. They opened up their stunning Paso Robles getaway for a weekend of summer fun. It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter. As I headed back down the 101, I took time to stop in San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, and Los Alamos before heading to my favorite place on Earth, Santa Barbara. I capped of a perfect day with dinner with the Nagelmanns at their family fave, the Croc. I just adore them so and it was so great to catch up. Diamond Dee and I are kindred spirits; we just vibe. After a hike the next morning, I enjoyed a perfect summer day at Butterfly Beach before heading home to San Diego. That was the icing on the already delicious cake. I came home to my wonderful boyfriend cooking me dinner just because he missed me. It doesn’t get any more special than that.

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My Summer Bucket list is not complete. That is something that has been weighing on me. I want to blog it at ya all at once. Lucky for me I live in San Diego. Labor Day weekend does not mean that summer is over for me. Expect a blog soon covering all the summer bucket list magic.

This weekend the light of my entire universe is taking his first plane ride EVER to come stay with Auntie Erin and Unto Mito at The Tree House. I am beyond thrilled to see him. My big brother warned me that I should be prepared to see him because Peyton is “large and in charge”. He weighed in at 17 pounds at his last doctor’s appointment. I’m so excited to have him here. That little man just makes my heart so happy; its nuts! The weekend has so many fun events planned and I am already preparing myself for the tears when he has to leave us and go back home. If you find baby pics annoying, block me now. I may break Facebook.


Stay happy. Be happy. Find your happy. Thank you for reading.