30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 3

Sundays are always a little bittersweet. The fun of the weekend is not over, but it’s certainly coming to a close.

We enjoy leisurely Sunday morning around here.

Today I am grateful for:

  • The beach. I am so incredibly lucky to be living just steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I often take it for granted; living so close to the ocean. But sometimes, when I’m driving down the street and catch a glimpse of the blue water, or when I take my dog for a walk, I realize just how good life is. People come from all over to visit San Diego, and I get to live here!
  • Yoga breaths. There is something about that rhythmic, oceanic, sound that completely relaxes me. Well, I suppose that something is really about the oxygen I’m receiving, the focus, and the awareness of my body. Even at night, when I am having trouble sleeping, these deep-belly breaths put me in a state of calm so that I can finally drift off to sleep. And during practice, focusing on my breaths allows me to get through difficult poses. Deep breaths people!
  • My sister. A few weeks ago, after a really stressful week, I opened my front door to find a box full of treats! We’re talking candy, new iphone cover, the lipgloss I mentioned yesterday, pretty pens, notecards, shorts, books, etc. It was one of the most thoughtful things someone has done for me in a long time and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I wish we all did things like that to each other more often. It meant so, so much to me. She’s a sweetheart.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Here’s to a wonderful upcoming week!

The Grass Is Sometimes Greener (On The Other Side of 30)

So far, being 30 has been downright swell. Things kicked off nicely with a night out in Little Italy, followed by a night out in La Jolla with too much beer and just enough pool, a birthday bash, and finally a trip to Mission Viejo for a Fantasy Football Draft.

Two days have passed since the weekend, and I’m still utterly exhausted. But content. And that can’t ever be bad.

I have some recipes to share, but today I just feel like posting some pictures from my birthday party. I had some amazing friends show up, and some even more amazing friends show up and help (I’m looking at you Adam, Scott, Trevor, Brynne and family!)

In case you can’t tell, there was a Roaring Twenties theme to the night. The music was swinging, the champagne was popping, and the ladies and gents were dressed to the nines. It was an incredibly fun evening (and early morning).

Who doesn’t love a good mustache?

So.Much.Food.

Cream puffs, drunken cherry brownies.

Chocolate cupcakes with espresso frosting. Amazing.

Pomegranite Champagne Punch (in addition to plenty of wine, beer and other mixed drinks)

These handsome gents TRANSFORMED my backyard. They strung the lights, rearranged furniture/pots/bbq and raked all the leaves. Amazing.

I wish men wore tuxes more often!

I think we need to bring fans back into fashion. They’re both pretty and useful!

Dark Red and Black Dahlias (in old wine bottles…something I have no shortage of) were placed all around the house and yard

It was an amazing evening, and I’m so happy to have such lovely friends. Unfortunately I only snapped photos of a tiny fraction of the people there, but everyone’s presence was appreciated! Champagne and photos don’t mix. Good life advice, I should say.

Where I Brag About My Neighborhood Once Again

I know I’m a lucky gal. Extremely lucky, for that matter. Just about every single morning I wake up to the sound of seagulls. All I have to do is open a window and I can feel the ocean breeze waft in. And the ocean? I can see it from the front of my house. The beach is mere steps away.

Hate me yet?

It’s okay. But please take solace in the fact that I NEVER take for granted the beautiful surroundings I call home.

I think I take this same picture every single week. But I can’t help it, because every time my dog and I go for a walk (daily) I am blown away by the view.

If you live in San Diego, you probably know where this is (the Shack is a big giveaway). It’s not only my neighborhood, but it’s also the best beach in the area (totally biased). It’s a surfing paradise, yes, but the rocky terrain creates a unique beach experience. There’s a reason why it’s such a popular spot for engagement/family/wedding/you-name-it photo shoots.

Another reason why I love it? The sense of community. This is surprising in such a large city. But my neighbors really are the best. I already posted about our “neighborhood garden” (I have since met the green thumbs and they are wonderful!). And this week I finally snapped a picture of one of my favorite weekend treats:

Another kind neighbor! A cooler full of these tasty and refreshing drinks  can be found on the sidewalk. I’ve happened upon these during the week AND the weekend. And I’m not going to lie, as I make my way back to the house after an hour or so in the sun, it’s the perfect cap to my little trek. Kind neighbors indeed! (Also, smart marketing?)

And now, off to enjoy another walk before work. Hope you all are enjoying the week as much as I am!

Heaven?

This Must End

I have lost all sense of control.

Prepkitchen Burger with Remoulade, Mahone, Heirloom Tomato, Bacon & Fried Egg

Veggies? Fruit? Unless they’re on a burger or slathered in butter they have had no part in my life right now.

Diet starts tomorrow?

 

Unplugged And Recharged

Recharged is the perfect word to describe how I feel. Which is quite the turn from a few days ago (fever, chills, sniffles, etc). Sometimes it feels nice to go “off the grid” for a few days. So that’s exactly what I did. Internet, Facebook, email were all put on the back-burner. Instead, once I was feeling better I enjoyed some long runs along the coast (my new app is so very helpful), catching up on all the books I have been reading, but haven’t finished, and had some great chats with some great friends.

In a word, it was bliss.

I mentioned last week that I attended the SoCal Blogger MeetUp in La Jolla and I promised pictures. But honestly, my camera pictures were not that great.

I blame the Ginger Mojitos I was enjoying.

Terrible pictures aside, I would like to give some attention to one of the sponsors in particular – Orange & Park. They were extremely generous, and donated several of their prints to the event. I was lucky enough to come home with this one:

Image via Orange & Park

I am beyond thrilled with it! I had noticed their prints at the Tap Room, a bar in Pacific Beach, that my boyfriend and I go to often, and I had always loved them. I had even done a search for their prints, but to no avail. So winning was a special treat, although now that I know how makes them I will be a repeat customer – I think I might have to get their California print to go along with my San Diego Beach Town print. You should definitely check out their website, they have wonderful prints and stationary that go beyond California.

I also walked away with this lovely bracelet from Pura Vida Bracelets.

I’ve worn it several times with and without other bracelets, and it’s already become one of my favorite accessories.

All in all, it was a wonderful event. I met so many accomplished, smart, and funny women.  It was very inspiring AND encouraging. There are some women out there making it happen! I met attorneys, women running their own businesses, authors, teachers, etc. It was amazing. I only wish I had the chance to speak with more of them. Thankfully, there’s next time.

And before I sign off a quick word on the Super Bowl.

Admission: I could have cared less who won. In the end I suppose I would have preferred to see the Patriots win. But only because I dislike Eli Manning so much. (Don’t ask, I can’t explain). So the actual outcome was not that important to me. There was the usual eating and drinking, vodka slushee machine, and commercial/Puppy Bowl viewing.

That’s right. I said vodka slushee machine.

From top left, clockwise: Lauren and her traveling bar, baked brie, slushee machine, bacon wrapped jalapenos

It’s nice to know that as we get older, my friends refuse to grow up. Which is fine by me.

One Year Closer To Thirty

Not me. That would be Adam.

Yesterday, Adam’s mom and brother, Wes, came down to San Diego for the day. While Adam was slaving away at work, the three of us and the dogs (theirs, and mine) went for a long hike along the beach in La Jolla. The sun was shining, the water was blue and the weather was in the 70’s. It was glorious.

Of course, all of that walking tired us out.

Thank goodness we happened to walk through the village on our way home and especially the Public House.

$10 Trappist beer tasting? 1/2 off all apps? Don’t mind if we do!

With 40+ beers on tap, great daily happy hour specials and beer tasting every Wednesday, I can’t believe I have waited so long to visit! You better believe I will be back, and often.

Oh yah, we had a few nibbles too:

Steack and veggie bruschettas.

Um, at $5 a pop (happy hour price) these were a steal. They were soooooo yummy, and seriously filling. These aren’t your ordinary bruschetta.

The fun wasn’t stopping there. The birthday boy had to join us eventually 😉

Off to Ocean Terrace!

We’ve got big appetites. Seriously.

It was Restaurant Week, so we went with the flow and did the pre-fixe menu. Adam and I have done the Restaurant Week thing many times over the years, but I have to say – Ocean Terrace was up there. It’s a great, casual, roof-top spot in downtown La Jolla. It’s especially lovely at sunset; the view is unbeatable. For Restaurant Week, they offered their entire menu with a few of the entrees available for a small, additional price ($3-5). Honestly, the four of us could have split 2 pri fixe meals. The appetizers alone were huge!

From left to right: La Quercia prosciutto with fig mustard (delish!) and pecorino, asian style chicken wings, calamari

Mexican style shrimp cocktail

The shrimp cocktail was hands down my favorite – so flavorful and the chips were nice and seasoned.  I would go back for just this and a margarita at sunset anytime.

The entrees were also spot on. I think between us we ordered the steak frites, the braised short ribs (chef special), garlic shrimp and mahi mahi.

I choose the mahi mahi with gnocchi.

It looked better in person, I swear.

Loved the roasted grapes and mushrooms that accompanied it.

Of course, no Restaurant Week would be complete without dessert.

Sticky Toffy Pudding Cake

Caramel Apple Crisp, Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

If I was pressed to choose, I think the toffee pudding was my favorite. But they were all pretty darn delicious. I only wish we had more room to enjoy – I think we all had maybe a bite or two of each before we had to give in to our full stomachs.

All in all it was a great evening. Hopefully Adam and I will make our way to the zoo this weekend and his Dad and Stepmom are also coming down (rom L.A.) on Saturday to go out for dinner – so there will be more good eats on our horizon 🙂

Also? I just realized I didn’t take any photos of the people – bad Drea! I will do better this weekend. I can’t help it – it’s my inner fat kid…I love to eat!

SoCal Blogger Meet-Up

Yep! I’m going. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in town, but alas the stars have aligned…

This next Meet-up will be meeting on February 4, 2012 from 1-4 at Roppongi. Major bonus points for being in the ‘hood!

For those of you who are thinking of attending,  I strongly encourage you to do so! I went to the last one and it was a blasty and a half! If you would like some details check them out here. (There’s a cute video too!)

SoCal Blogger Meet-Up

One word of caution – there are only a few tickets left so hurry hurry!

How To Beat The Winter Blues

Move to San Diego!

20120113-152142.jpg

Seriously. Today I went for a walk down to the La Jolla Cove to watch the seals in a pair of shorts and a tanktop. I’ll spare you a picture of that because I’m sporting some serious pasty white legs, but come on! I dare you to be in a bad mood when it’s the middle of January and you’re in a full summer wardrobe.

So seriously. San Diego. Do it. We can go get margaritas and watch the sunset over the ocean. Every single day. In shorts, of course.

Rain Rain Go Away

San Diego is a tease. We had a few blissful days of sun, and now it’s a rainy mess. And if you are familiar with SoCal you know that when we get a drop of rain, we forget we ever knew how to drive and go into hibernation mode.

Staying at home in my pajamas and watching movies with Valentino was not an option today, so I got the next best thing: a cafe au lait and a blueberry scone from my favorite coffee shop in La Jolla – the Brick and Bell.

Their scones are out of this world. I usually grab a mini-scone but as I said, it was raining, and thus it was not a morning for skimping 😉

Am I being a spoiled brat complaining about the weather?  Anyone?