Category Archives: Fun Stuff

4th of Julys Past

Happy 4th of July! Do you have annual 4th of July traditions? Growing up we always knew we were going to our family friends’ house for pool, BBQ and fireworks. We knew exactly what dish every family brought and even what music was going to be played during the fireworks show. As we got older and more competitive in sports, we were often traveling for tournaments during 4th of July and that tradition went away.

Over the years, Aaron and I have created our own 4th of July traditions. Let’s look back at 4th of Julys from the past since the blog was born. One of my favorite things about having a blog is being able to easily look back at what you were doing in a particular moment in time.


We still lived in San Diego and Aaron had to work during the day. I whipped up some Sangria and hung out with friends before Aaron met up so we could go watch fireworks at the bay together.


In 2010 we were living in Sacramento. I started off the day with the free 4th of July 5 miler race that takes place in our neighborhood.

And to reward me for a good race, Aaron made mimosas and breakfast before went to BBQ with friends and family and watch fireworks from the park near out house.


Last year, Aaron and I started a new tradition of camping for the 4th. We decided just a few days before the holiday to go camping for the weekend – just the 2 of us (3 with Cash). We didn’t have a large selection of campsites that late in the game, but we rolled the dice and really lucked out. We had a great few days camping before coming back the afternoon of the 4th for our other tradition – walking to the park by our house for fireworks.


This year were are kind of combining all our past traditions into one. Since the 4th is on a Wednesday, we are celebrating the actual holiday in town and then taking Thursday and Friday off to go camping. And we started the celebration last night with a BBQ and probably the best fireworks show I have ever seen.


And this morning I was excited to be able to once again participate in the 4th of July 5 miler.


Aaron whipped up some amazing gluten free pancakes and eggs and we sipped on mimosas while prepping for camping. Most people just bring hot dogs, chips, beer and marshmallows camping. But not us. Aaron hand-ground meat for blue cheese stuffed burgers and he is about to smoke turkey breasts for sandwiches. He even made two different flavored mayos for sandwiches. That is how we roll – we know how to camp!

This afternoon we are heading to a block party down the street and will then, of course, watch fireworks at the park.

In other news – check out these veggies from our garden!! I am so excited. Tomatoes, basil and zucchini. We will be bringing all this camping!


A Fun Week

Normally when you come back from vacation, the first week back is tough. It’s all about catching up on work and getting back to the daily grind. After we returned from Carmel, Aaron and I were able to mix all that real-world stuff with fun stuff as well.

We started with a mid-week cheap date night at Scandia Fun Center. Scandia has mini-golf, go karts, batting cages, bumper boats and an arcade. Almost a year ago, I purchased  a Living Social deal for two VIP wrist bands which included all you can play everything for only $19. It expires this week, so we decided to finally use it. Being competitive, Aaron and I placed a little bet based on the results of mini-golf, go karts and the arcade. The loser had to buy frozen yogurt on the way home. Aaron won, but we had a blast. And for less than $30 we had a great Wednesday night.


Friday afternoon I had a great meeting, so we celebrated with Happy Hour. This drink was to die for. Jalapeno vodka, fresh watermelon, lime and mint. So refreshing I had two!


Saturday we run a ton of errands, worked out and then in the evening attended a wedding of a dear family friend who I have known my whole life. It was a great wedding and fun to see lots of family and friends.


And to finish things off, we spend Sunday floating down the American River. We haven’t done a float for a couple years, and the weather was perfect. We were out there a little longer than anticipated, but had a blast floating with friends on the river. And Aaron had a smoked pork butt waiting for us at the end! Complete with coleslaw, and fresh corn on the cob!

Carmel is for Lovers…and Dogs

This weekend Aaron and I traveled to Carmel for our friends’ wedding and decided to stay an extra couple days. Neither of us had ever been to Carmel and we were excited to explore. My dear friend, Lisa, was marrying Alex and the festivities started off with the rehearsal on Friday. The rehearsal dinner was held at Rio Grill in Carmel and it was such a fun night. Great food, great company and lots of love for these two.



Aaron and Cash were not able to come down until Saturday, so I spent Friday night with the Bride at Carmel Valley Ranch. We got lots of sleep and woke up for a leisurely breakfast at the resort. Lisa and Alex’s puggle, Chesty was a little stir crazy in the morning, so I took him for a long walk around the property. It was so beautiful.


When Aaron and Cash arrived, we quickly drove to the beach and checked into our bed and breakfast – the Lamp Lighter Inn. What an adorable place. They are so friendly, allow dogs, have a nightly wine and cheese reception and are just a few blocks from the beach.


After a quick change of clothes, we were of to the wedding. Such a beautiful spot and wonderful ceremony. I read a poem by Roy Croft during the ceremony and I managed to not ruin the whole ceremony. 🙂

The next morning, Aaron and I woke up, enjoyed the continental breakfast at the Inn and then took Cash down to the beach for his first trip to the ocean. City Beach in Carmel is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. And they are completely dog-friendly. Off leash, even! So refreshing. We walked, Cash ran his butt off and played with so many different dogs. He was a happy camper.



After our walk, we headed back to the Lamp Lighter, rinsed Cash off in their outdoor shower, and relaxed in the sun in the courtyard. The rest of the morning and afternoon we spent walking around town with Cash. I cannot believe how dog friendly the entire city is. We were able to bring Cash everywhere – into restaurants, the cheese shop, retail stores. So much fun!


We went wine tasting, had oysters, margaritas – whatever stuck our fancy. We didn’t have to drive anywhere, which was so nice.  We made it back for the evening wine and cheese reception and then sat in the courtyard for our own little picnic happy hour.


Our trip to Carmel was perfect. We had so much fun and everyone in the city is so friendly. I was expecting much more attitude and snootiness because Carmel is an expensive town. I was pleasantly surprised with how laid back it was. We will definitely be back!

Girls on the Run Lessons for Grown Ups

One of the best things about coaching Girls on the Run is that I learn so much from the girls and the curriculum that I can apply in my own life. Let me share some examples:

Negative Self-Talk

A couple weeks ago we talked about doing away with negative self-talk and turning negatives into positives. Yesterday at the gym I used the tools we teach the girls for myself. If I were pin-point a body area I am most hard on, it would be my legs. I avoid shorts like the plague and am pretty hard on myself for having saddle bags and big hips. But while I was laying in the leg press machine hoisting 200 pounds with my legs, I decided to take that all back. I looked at my legs and praised them for being so strong, being able to lift so much weight and for carrying the rest of my body over countless finish lines and even a whole freaking marathon! Thank you legs! Maybe this summer I will show you off in shorts so I can brag about all that you do!


Today we talked about gratitude – not only understanding what gratitude is, but how to show it. Gratitude for things, people and circumstances. After practice, I went to yoga and spent the 75 minutes class focusing on being grateful for where I am right now. So often we miss out on right now by thinking about where we wish we were or where we think we are going. Sometimes I am so focused on what is next – whether it be my career or having babies or buying a house. I am grateful for where I am now and I need to be more conscious of showing it.


February Shmedbruary

Every chance we get, we have been trying to take advantage of the unseasonably warm winter we are having.  I know we need the rain, but I really can’t complain about days like today.  We have been talking about going for a hike with the dog for a few weeks now. This is the first weekend we didn’t have many plans, so hike weekend, it was!

After researching some good spots for hikes, we settled on Jenkinson Lake. We have camped in the area before and loved it. Being only about 60 miles away it was easy for a quick trip up and back. We woke up to dense fog in Sacramento, but once we headed up the hill a bit, the sun was shinning!

Cash knew we were up for something when we got in the car instead of going for a normal walk. He loves car rides because there is always something fun at the end of the ride.

It was so nice to smell the fresh air, pine trees and mountain air.

Aaron was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and the sun felt amazing, but we could see the snow-capped Sierras in the distance. So beautiful.

Aaron made delicious sandwiches to munch on at our turnaround point. Turkey, ham, Havarti, lettuce, tomato, onion, Chitpotle mayo. Plus some BBQ chips and an apple. Cheers!

Cash had the best time, which is no surprise. He loves adventures (just like mom and dad), being outside and swimming. I can only imagine how cold that water was, but he didn’t care!

We covered 3.25 miles and then headed back home. Such a fun way to spend half of a Sunday and I hope we do it again. We kept pinching ourselves that it is the middle of February and we were hiking where there has been snow in the past.

Now Cash, Aaron and I are all bathed and relaxing for the rest of our Sunday. Weekends, why are you so short?