You gotta move or move on

Last last weekend, my AZ sister from another mister, Emily, came to visit me and go to Kenny Chesney’s Spread the Love concert. I was really excited to see Miranda Lambert and she was awesome. Sam Hunt also played…also amazing.


We did yoga at the sculpture park and ate all the delicious food. I love having visitors and showing off my awesome city.


Emily also helped me find a great new apartment! My lease was coming up real quick and while I had a plan A in place, things change and as Sam Hunt says, “you gotta move or move on.” Although Emily thinks it’s you gotta move TO move on. Thoughts?

Either way, I moved on Tuesday and I really like the new place! Err, at least what it WILL be once all the boxes are unpacked and Rigo has figured it out and calmed down a bit. He’s currently pretty sure I moved him and all our stuff there to leave him forever. My poor neighbors. Emily had a good idea to introduce him/alert the neighbors that he might be sad for a while in the new place and this is what I ended up with:

Rigo Intro


The new place is all of three miles away from where I was, but Seattle is full of unique neighborhoods so there’s a lot to explore. There are plenty of boring things that go along with moving, like packing and you know, moving, updating the DMV, blah blah blah. But there are fun things about moving too. My first month in the new place bucket list includes:

  1. Find my new running routes – easy 3-5 milers and longer loops for the weekends.
  2. Discover new restaurants. My new place is super walkable, so I have plenty of options for my new go-to sushi, burgers, coffee, Mexican, ice cream. Yum!
  3. Get to a November Project workout and running meetup. I’m much closer to their usual locations, so my typical excuse doesn’t work anymore.
  4. Find new walk routes for Rigo and check out the nearby dog park.
  5. Jump in a nearby body of water…I’m close to a few to choose from!
  6. Switch my holds to a closer library branch. I use the library ALL. THE. TIME. I used to just get ebooks, but I’m back on a hard copy kick and check out new release DVDs too. The new branch is walkable of course 🙂

What fun things do you like to do to settle into a new place?



My Funemployment List…How’d I Do?

It’s with a bit of a heavy heart I have to announce that funemployment has come to an end. I’m pretty excited about my new opportunity (I started on Monday), but a little sad to be giving up my freedom. I think that’s what they call “being an adult” or something? Or, there’s always winning the lottery.

By the numbers, here are the good things that the last two months brought me:

8 trails hiked (including 3 alpine lake swims and one summit snowfall!): Oyster Dome, Lake Ingalls, Rattlesnake Ledge, Goat Lake, Margaret’s Way, Melakwa Lake, Annette Lake, Green Mountain


Rainy Sunday at Goat Lake

6 books read: Euphoria, Love with a Chance of Drowning, Swerve, My Drunk Kitchen, Black Eyed Susans, The Santangelos

4 cities traveled to (overnights): Nashville, Phoenix, Bellingham, Hansville

5 series watched: American Horror Story (liked the first season, didn’t like/watch 2 or 3 and still working on 4), Jane the Virgin, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Walking Dead Season 4 (still working on), Law and Order SVU (the handful of seasons available on Netflix)

127.5 miles run

11 items left on the bucket list! Too many, but they’re at least made their way back to my regular bucket list…it’s what nights and weekends are for!

Funemployment, Month One

I remember making a list when I was younger of the things that went wrong on a specific day. I don’t remember what they were, but I do remember making the list, looking at it and realizing none of it was really all that bad. That Debbie Downer moment aside, I think I’m a very positive person. I think life is good. I think I’m lucky and that people who think they’re lucky are luckier, so it’s kinda a twofer. I acknowledge that life isn’t all sunshine and glitter, that blips happen, but they don’t really get to me. Kinda something like this:


I had a big one recently, but the closed door pretty much immediately felt like an open window.

At the beginning of September, my job was eliminated. I was upset and frustrated and anxious, but I also felt strangely fine with it and completely confident that it was all going to work out – and it has.

Well, I’m still looking for a new job, but finding good opportunities. Oh my goodness, it is so much easier to look for a job when you’re actually living in the city. But, spending all of my time looking for jobs and worrying and stressing out will not get my anywhere, so I’ve been enjoying this “early retirement.”

I’m gettting my fitness on, using the remaining classes from my yoga Groupon and (sadly) using the last month of my Orangetheory Fitness membership. I recently found my two favorite trainers and have been soaking up as many of their classes as I can. I’ve been running routes I’ve been meaning to check out and upping my mileage because why not and OMG the hiking.


First snow of the season – Green Mountain, September 2nd!

I’m tracking my hikes on the Washington Trails Association site since that’s where I scope out all the trails and put links on my PNW Hikes page, which has grown considerably in the last month! Summits and lakes and swims in those alpine lakes, which really just means talking myself into jumping in, dunking and getting out, but hey, I did it!

Yes, even this one on this chilly, foggy day!

Yes, even this one on this chilly, foggy day!

I also visited Bellingham and Hansville. I cheered on the Sounders at CenturyLink. I went kayaking in Lake Union. I went to the Seattle Art Museum and have spent some time wandering around downtown and Pike Market Place. I took Rigo to a dog beach on Whidbey Island and he loved it.

Double Bluff Beach

Double Bluff Beach

I would have gotten around to these things eventually, but filling a potentially unhappy time with things that just make me so happy has been the absolute best.

So, that’s been my first month of “funemployment.” No doubt, more adventure awaits!

In the last two months…and starting (quitting?) Whole30!

In the last two months I…

Donated blood. Went to TopGolf a handful of times. Went to an ASU football game. Went to a wedding in Sequim, Washington and rode the ferry back to Seattle…

Another hello gorgeous weekend in the PNW.

Another hello gorgeous weekend in the PNW.

Attempted and failed at seared ahi tuna steaks. Got my hair did and done and redid. Had an awesome yoga/brunch/pottery painting date with my mom…

photo 4

Went to the dentist. Went to the dentist again (waaah). Celebrated the return of football Sundays (and Mondays and Thursdays). Joined/started a book club – so far we’ve read The Burning Air and Rooms. Was excited for – and then reminded that it’s not quite yet – race season…


Esprit de She 5K 35:05 – You almost wouldn’t even know by looking at this picture that I had to sit down for about 5 minutes two miles in so I didn’t pass out 😦
Oktoberfest 5-miler 50:27
They were both just really warm days and I was unprepared. Hello wake-up call!

Had a mini high school reunion aka drank beer on a patio with the people I actually liked…


Went to Tour de Fat.  Saw the Zac Brown Band in concert…

photo 2

And started the Whole30. I have a few friends doing it with me and I posted one pic on Instagram, but I feel like for some reason this blog keeps me most accountable.

This was breakfast. BREAKFAST.

This was breakfast. BREAKFAST. Meat and vegetables for BREAKFAST.

I started on Monday and it’s going well so far – no “hangover” or crazy cravings. Maybe a little food boredom already, which is no bueno, but having a plan makes it easy to stick to it. Kinda. I’m having a few moments of weakness and considered failure an option before I even started but as of now I have no good reason not to keep going, so I guess I will?

Have you done Whole30? Success or no-go?

Oh the Places You Will Go: Phoenix (Summer Edition)

I have no clue why people want to visit Arizona in the summer. All I want to do is leave. But, my college roommate, Amy, has visited a few times in the summer, including this last weekend! She lives in the San Fernando Valley, which is just about as hot and dry as Arizona anyway (just about).

She started planning her trip and I told her no, that I was going to be the tour guide. Now that I think of it, I kind of wonder what she had in mind. Oh well.

Instead of showing her what I normally do on a summer weekend (currently: binge watch The Killing), I wanted to make the best of it and take her to favorite places of mine. So, if you’re planning on visiting Arizona, here, from a native is a list of suggested activities:

On Friday, I picked Amy up right after work and we went to the best pizza place in town. No, not Pizzeria Bianco. Pizzeria Bianco is delicious and it’s a cute, little restaurant in a fun neighborhood. Oprah and Jimmy Fallon love it. Heck, it’s even worth the usual hours-long wait. But, locals know the better wood-fired pizza option is nearby Cibo. It’s even more delicious and even cuter.

I don’t spend much time in downtown Phoenix, but I do really like it when I’m there, so our next stop was my favorite bar, Copper Blues. It’s big inside and out, but gets packed and it’s just a fun vibe with a live cover band playing behind the bar.

photo 1

Completely unplanned, we then stopped by two additional bars in Old Town Scottsdale on our way home – Amy would have gladly told you the next day that even just one extra bar was a bad idea. We went to two of my favorites for low-key fun and strong, cheap drinks – Giligin’s and The Lodge.

I wasn’t totally wastey pants, I did stop at a point and also drink a lot of water, and miraculously the next day, I made it out the door for an 8:15 spin class to sweat out the night before. It wasn’t pretty, but I was happy I fit it in.

photo 2

On Saturday, since it’s best to be around a cool pool on a hot summer day, we went to Talking Stick’s pool party with a few of my girlfriends. We got there early enough to get chairs to relax in for the better part of the day – going back and forth to the pool to cool down. I wasn’t interested in drinking, but the servers there are fantastic with endless buckets of bottled water – gotta stay hydrated!

photo 3

A day in the sun wears you out, so we stayed in for the night to make enchiladas and watch some romcoms we picked up from Redbox. Walk of Shame and That Awkward Moment do NOT get a best of Arizona award, but they were entertaining and when I dozed off a bit, I didn’t miss much of the plot!

The next day we checked out North Scottsdale’s new OHSO Distillery for their brunch – $10 for a meal and a BIG mimosa or beer. That hit the spot for sure! Then we went to Topgolf, for what was my third weekend in a row! The first weekend I went for my BIL’s birthday and I was awful, the next for my own birthday (oh yeah, I turned 30!) and I wasn’t terrible, then on Sunday I actually won the first game! Also this time we were finally up on the third floor and it was so much fun!

photo 4

Then we hopped over to the Tavern Grille for a few pitchers and some girl talk before doing dinner at Oregano’s.

Somehow I rallied that night since it was her last night in town and my idea the whole time to go see an 80s cover band at Wasted Grain, which apparently was having its grand opening party last weekend. I’ve always wanted to go see them but they were more rock than pop so I only knew a handful of songs they played – oh and the singer made a rapey comment that totally turned me off of them, which is why I won’t even post their name, but that damper aside (plus the damper of having to go into work after just a busy weekend and long Sunday night), it was a really fun weekend!

Amy commented how fun Arizona is since there’s actually things to do and this weekend was a nice reminder that, yes, Arizona can be fun if you suck it up and deal with the heat – and do a lot of eating and drinking!


So, I turn 30 in 20 days…not that I’m counting. I actually don’t feel good or bad about it currently, but ask me again at crunch time and I may have a new answer.

This week, though, a mini panic did set in that I made a 30 before 30 list last July and I have not crossed many items off. I’m a crosser-offer, so obviously the next few weeks will be a rush to hit at least a few things. The first of those things was “take a pole dancing class.” Remember when that was the craze, oh like five years ago? Yeah, it’s been on various lists of mine since then, so it was time.

I went to Express MiE in Tempe for their pole-ah-tease teaser (intro) class. The studio is a mile from my parents’ house and was convenient since I was already in that part of town for my niece’s third birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. Seems like the appropriate time and place to learn to pole dance, right?

Express MiE has been in place for a while and it’s where I always figured I’d go, plus they had a Groupon for the intro class – $15 for the 90-minute sampler.  There were 11 women in the class – many came together in pairs – ranging from probably early-20s to 40s, everyone full of nervous giggles. The instructor was an ASU grad student – pole dancing is for everyone!


The 90-minute class moved quickly, from warm ups that pulled in sexy touching right away, then some sexy walking, then a quick pole routine, then a wall routine. Lots to do and learn in a short time. It ended up being fairly simple and easy – it just looks like magic when you put it all together.

Was it a workout? There were some toning moves that left me a little sore already, but there wasn’t much cardio or sweat involved. We traded off on the poles with two others and learned the short routine in mini steps, same with the wall routine. The pole was maybe 30 seconds and the wall just a little longer. At the end, the instructor did a demo of everything she’s learned in her two years dancing and it definitely looked like a workout, but it would take a while to get there.

Did I feel sexy? Yes, for 30 seconds. The touch-your-curves and t-shirt tease portions of the class started pretty much right away, so there was no time to be shy. There were no mirrors so I have no clue what I looked like. The other women, who also had no experience, looked great, so I choose to think I looked sexy too. With no dance training or real rhythm, this may be a stretch, but the whole class was about how you feel anyway!

I’m tempted to take the six-week level one class, but I have other, more challenging workouts to do. I’ll make sure to take the few sexy moves I learned with me though!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go set PRs for my half marathon and triathlon, learn to surf and read five books. BRB.

The Most Fun You Can Have in Arkansas With Your Pants Off

Because it’s hot and you just want to wear dresses and as the maid of honor, I had to wear a dress! For her gift to her dad, my bridefriend April gave him a shirt that said, “My daughter got married outside in Arkansas in June and all I got was the bill and this shirt.” And that about sums it up, but I could think of nowhere else I would have rather been last weekend than in Rogers, Arkansas celebrating her marriage!


I flew from Mesa’s Gateway airport on Allegiant – that cheap, but nickel and dimey, airline that flies to the most random airports – to Springfield, Missouri last Thursday. It took a few hours to drive to Arkansas, but immediately, I was like, “okay, I get it…it’s green and gorgeous.”


Plus, I know most people say they will take a dry heat, but I enjoyed the weather, if only because it was a break. They were having a warm spell, but that’s still just upper 80s and humid plus they have nice breezes. For people who think a dry heat would be like the same but without humidity, no. Try 110, but at least it’s a dry heat!

I’ll take the cooler humidity. Maybe not forever, but for a break. On the second day I figured out the massive amount of gel my hair would require and then on the wedding day, it was perfectly coiffed, all held back and sprayed so that it wasn’t going anywhere. So, the weather and my hair were really my biggest concerns there and once those were out of the way, I had a fantastic time.

I didn’t have a lot of time in Arkansas to be a tourist, but I got in a run on Friday morning. I found what I thought would be a cool place to go, but there wasn’t a sidewalk to get me there on a curvy, two-lane road, so I decided to skip it and just run on the sidewalk past the highway and toward the mall. I only got in three miles and by the time I got back, I checked the elevation – surely Rogers, AR had to be higher than Scottsdale, but nope, only by about 100 feet, so that couldn’t have accounted for my difficult run, it was just the heat, humidity and oh yeah, my lack of training recently.

IMG_3230Then I joined April at her house in Fayetteville to wrap up some of the DIYs she had left. Who knew I could make a boutonniere?! I ate BBQ for lunch, because Arkansas, before getting ready for the rehearsal and dinner. There were about 10 attendants on each side, so both events were big affairs, but went very well. By that time a few other Arizona girls had arrived and they were eating at Apple Blossom Brewery in Fayetteville. I told April I might just head back to the hotel, but she said GO. I had their brown beer and a good time with the girls, so that was a good call. Then I got lost in a Hills Have Eyes locale almost out of gas with a dying phone. Luckily I made it back in time to party at the hotel bar.


Saturday was for wedding everything – hair, make-up, setting the venue and getting married!

I think the best weddings require a few things:

1. Being on vacation. As much as I bitch about taking time off and having to travel for someone’s wedding, being away from the real world sets the mood and gets me ready to just have a good time.

2. Knowing a bunch of the guests. I’ve known April for half of my life and most of our high school friends were in attendance and also, her group of college friends – some bridesmaids, some guests – who I had met during our weekend in Seattle were there as well, so it was just a great time. And they were all there on vacation too, so we all stayed at the same hotel and that was great.

The Arizona group

The Arizona group

IMG_32453. Something going wrong. No wedding is perfect and laughing it off almost makes the whole thing better. For April’s outdoor wedding, she got tents at the last minute in case it rained. Twenty minutes after the ceremony, which was not tented, ended, it poured for about a half hour. The bridal party was inside the property house and I can only imagine what the guests outside were doing, probably crammed under the two tents. The rain cooled everything off and made a bunch of mud that everyone slipped in, but who cares? It was fun!

That’s all you need. Bridezillas, take note.

I had so much fun, I attempted to change my flight because basically I had to wake up and leave the very next day, which was just a terrible plan, but that’s Allegiant and their weird flights. Just like that, Arkansas was over.


Oh the Places You Will Go: San Diego

I will never get tired of going to San Diego. It’s a quick trip from Phoenix regardless if you fly or drive and then you’re at the beach! I spent last weekend in San Diego and could think of nowhere better to celebrate the first day of summer.

My good friend, Robin, wanted to go to San Diego to celebrate the last birthday of her 20s and who was I to say no? Last year, she celebrated 28 in Tahoe. Besides just being awesome in general, hanging out with her has some serious perks, girl knows how to party. And by party I mean pick cool places to go hang out and do the same things we would do at home – but with a beach!

I was so dedicated to this trip, I went in an hour early to work all last week to leave at noon on Friday and catch our flight. Robin found an awesome house in Mission Beach that slept enough people to accommodate everyone who trickled in and out all weekend and it was only a block to the beach and a block to Mission Bay. Everything was walkable – or as I experienced for the first time there, cheaply Uberable.

We ate Mexican food, had delicious breakfasts and hung out at the beach, played Cards Against Humanity, drank a beer (or two or three) and saw some of the nightlife.

On Saturday morning, I went running up the boardwalk and then back down on the beach itself.

June gloom morning run.

June gloom morning run.

For running, San Diego beaches > New England beaches. For beach beauty, New England beaches > San Diego beaches. But for the tie breaker, for swimming, at least during the times I was there, San Diego for the win. We stayed on the beach doing nothing and intermittently going in to dive the waves for hours.

SD June 2014

I think people who live by beaches take it for granted. When I lived close enough to Malibu, I know I did. I’d love to say if I lived in SD, I’d enjoy it all the time, but the truth is, I’d probably try to enjoy the beach, but be thinking about the other things I should be doing. That’s the glory of vacation…there was NOTHING else we had to do. I have the splotchy tan/burned/still pasty skin to show for it. (There was a serious error in judgement involving a travel-size can of spray sunscreen and the wind.)

On Sunday, I met Robin’s older sister who lives in NE San Diego County and she asked me what I did. After two days at the beach house, I couldn’t really remember what my work life was and had to seriously pause to consider the question and answer it. I’d say that’s a good sign that it was a  great vacation!

Oh the Places You Will Go: Seattle

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Seattle and my most recent trip only made that more apparent. I was there for the bachelorette party of a great high school friend who went to UW, so she knew all the ins and outs. We stayed in a cute little house in Capitol Hill that had this hanging in front of the, ahem, porcelain throne: seattle so trips to the loo were quite educational. We hit a bunch of those neighborhoods because the secret is, they’re pretty small and obviously pretty squished together.  Even on my morning runs, I made my way through at least three or four. My friend, April, doesn’t actually live in Seattle anymore, but she loves the city too and has a handful of college friends who do still live there, so it seemed like a pretty great place to party. And by party I mean, I already admitted I was up to run in the mornings (by like 8), so yeah. SeattleOn Friday morning, we started with a short walk to breakfast #1 – eggs, bacon and the like – before heading out to be touristy at Pike’s Market, where we had breakfast #2 – Piroshky’s (pastry), #3 – two doors down at Beecher’s (mac and cheese, which I am quite enjoying here) and #4 – donuts.Seattle Breakfast3

The forecast was calling for a nice day on Friday and cold rain for the rest of the weekend and it was indeed gorgeous, so we went to Alki Beach in West Seattle (new to me) and had a beer at Duke’s across from the beach until we were hungry again and had some clam strips. Seattle Alki Beach Friday night, we got to meet up with some of the other bridesmaids (just the four of us out-of-towners were staying in the house) for tapas, which turned into Mexican. Seattle gets a bad rap for their Mexican, but it seems like if you get to the right neighborhood, there are plenty of trendy foodie places popping up and my carnitas burrito was delicious.Don’t judge but after that, the bride was ready to go home. We had cake waiting from Dilettante and it was a perfect night cap.

Seattle RunEarly bedtime meant I was able to get up and run. I didn’t really have a plan, but soon realized the streets were looking familiar and I was heading back to Pike’s Market, so I might as well keep going to the water, run the stairs and no, surprisingly, I didn’t stop for donuts again. But now I wish I had. It was only five miles round trip. It actually felt like it took less time to run there then drive!
I got back in time to meet the girls at the coffee shop right down the street – Katie’s, adorable – for an Americano and then went to Gas Works Park (another new to me), which had a gorgeous view of the city. Seattle GasworksSeattle View from Gasworks What kind of classy 30-year-old’s bachelorette party would be complete without wine tasting? That was our plan for Saturday. We drove up to Woodinville , starting at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Seattle Winery Lucky for us, not so lucky for her, the matron of honor is pregnant and now I firmly believe that every bachelorette party should come with a built-in DD. We actually paused for lunch and then just hit one more small tasting room before heading home anyway. I was truly among my people. April had actually woken up with a tummy ache (gee, I wonder what it was from?), so we cooled it on the eating three meals for every meal thing. We got a spattering of rain when we were driving back to the house, but it cleared and was still gorgeous.

We went to a cute stone-oven pizzeria, Via Tribunali, for dinner and it was perfect for sharing with a big group and sampling everything, yum! And then, mostly because April was wearing a bachelorette sash, we went to a club. At 9pm. We stayed long enough for it to fill up – with other bachelorettes, way-dressed down kiddos (WTH) and creepy old guys – but they were playing music from the early 2000s, so our inner college girls had a lot of fun!

Seattle Run2The next day, I got another run in. This time I had a plan, I wanted to go to Lake Washington via Madrona. The neighborhoods to get there were adorable. I wasn’t even mad they had a TON of hills! This side has a great view of Bellevue.

Another Katie’s Americano before heading out to meet a big group including spouses and babies for brunch at Cafe Flora. April apologized about 10 times because she didn’t realize it was completely vegetarian. As a former vegetarian, I didn’t really notice, but some of the carnivorous guys were like “babe, we’re stopping somewhere on the way home.”

The forecast was again a lie and it was another gorgeous day in Seattle, so with the whole afternoon to kill before our flights, we hit Golden Gardens Beach. It was actually so warm, I wish I had changed into my bikini or at least shorts, but I had to do with pants and a tank top. I actually got a bit of a sunburn enjoying a beer (shh) on the beach with some new friends and two cute pups. Seattle Beach2A trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without seafood, so we stopped at Ivar’s to eat on the patio.  The weather did eventually start  to turn while we were finishing up there and driving to the airport, but it was awesome it stayed so perfect for our weekend – my favorite bachelorette party so far! Can’t wait to see everyone again in a month at the wedding!

Oh the Places You Will Go: Myrtle Beach

When I was first told I won a trip to Myrtle Beach, I was a little suspicious. Honestly, it sounded like a scam. I vaguely remembered entering, but it’s not like I was holding my breath to see if I won. Nobody ever actually wins those things because they’re just trying to get your contact info to spam you, right?  Guess not!

It was somewhat last-minute notice and there were few details, so I didn’t truly believe it until I was on the plane! Somehow it worked out that even though it was mid-week with late notice, Sean was able to come with me! We took a red-eye and got there at 10am, in time to be amazed at the view from our room (not so much the room itself, but with a location and view like this, it was okay):

Myrtle Beach (1)

Then we took a quick nap and had lunch before we headed out to the Dan and Shay concert, which was set up in a small park  overlooking the ocean and besides the contest winners, the community was invited to enjoy for free as well. But, we got front-row seats and a meet and greet too! So, what do you talk about with an up-and-coming country duo? Well, Dan told us about a great juice place he likes in Scottsdale! Then we took some pictures:

Myrtle Beach (2)

The show was great, but it was chilly and windy and threatening rain the whole time. For the most part, it held off, but they sang their well-known song early on just in case we got rained out and then again as the closing song with others mixed in. I really like their sound and I would have eaten up their lyrics as a 20-year-old. As a 29-year-old, they’re still cute and fun!

Myrtle Beach (6)

Myrtle Beach (4)After they wrapped up, we could go back to the hotel with the group, but Sean and I decided to walk around and check out the boardwalk/entertainment strip area. And that’s when it really started to rain! We got soaked, but we found a place to get fish tacos and a margarita, so I was happy! We ended the night escaping the wind at the bar in the hotel next to ours.

The next day, it was finally sunny but it was even colder and windy. Not the beach vacation I had been dreaming of, but I couldn’t leave without taking advantage of the ocean, so we walked along the beach and stuck our toes in for a bit and then it was already time to go home.Myrtle Beach (3)

Too fast, but fantastic. Myrtle Beach is a great little touristy town and I would love to go back for a little longer when it’s a lotta warmer!