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Adventures on Mt. Tamalpais

I've always loved being outdoors. When I was little I would always play outside: climbing trees, riding my bike, and exploring our property. My dad is an avid mountaineer and I spent my childhood going from one campground to the next. We'd go on backpacking trips, day hikes, and rock climbing. So it's no surprise, that I still love the outdoors.

View from West Point Inn on Mt. Tamalpais

Hiking is one of my favorite forms of exercise. What's not to love? It's so rewarding, with beautiful scenery along the trail, and breathtaking views at the summit. 

View of Lake Lagunitas from Mt. Tamalpais
Old Fire House on the summit of Mt. Tam

There are so many gorgeous areas in California to explore. And the bay area is home to many beautiful hiking trails, including one of my very favorites. 

Mt. Tamalpais is one of the most beautiful hikes I have done. It's not only a great workout, but the trail takes you through a beautiful wooded area, then above the tree line to the summit with an breathtaking panoramic view of the California coast. 

I first did this hike with my parents, and a family friend, I think it was back in 2003. I loved it so much, I ended up taking my college roommates and various friends up the trail three different times while I was at Sonoma State University. 

So of course, on one of Andrew's visits from San Diego, I introduced him to Mt. Tam.  We've always enjoyed hiking together, and I knew he would like this one. Especially because dogs are allowed on the trail, so we could bring Louis along as well. 

Check out that view of San Francisco! 
Try to ignore the power line obstructing the view

I'm sure there will be many more trips to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais in my future. The view is just too beautiful to miss. 

If you are in the bay area, I highly recommend hiking Mt. Tam. There are numerous trails you can take. This is my favorite trail head. I think next time we go up, we'll stop at the Mountain Home Inn for a burger and a glass of wine to reward ourselves for all of our hard work! 

If you're in the area, and don't have time for a day hike, you can also drive most of the way to the top, and take a short walk to see the views at the summit. 

What is your favorite hike?

I hope you all have a great weekend! 




Perks of the Job...

Every job has its perks, and thankfully upon moving to San Francisco last year, I was able to find a job with quite a few.

I work in a small office, there are only 9 of us in the company. It's a family run business, and they made me feel like a part of that family from day one. I feel so lucky to have found this job when I moved, I think it made the transition of moving to the city much easier than if I were at a huge corporate office.

It's a great job and company with excellent benefits, and I love the people I work with. But I'm going to go ahead and say it...the biggest perk of my job is that they provide breakfast and lunch every day. (What can I say, I like to eat!) This has been huge for me with moving to San Francisco. The cost of living is extremely high here, and what I save on grocery bills every month has made all the difference. Not to mention, I've lost about fifteen pounds in the past year because we eat so healthy in the office. Saving money and losing weight, sounds like a good deal to me.

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but I am a little nosey. Perhaps that is why I love reading blogs so much. I love reading about peoples day, their travels, what their eating, how they exercise. All of it. I thought there may be one or two readers out there (besides my parents) that feel the same way. So I figured I would share the details about the lunch provided daily at my office.

In addition to lunch, they also shop for breakfast and snack items as well, including Pete's coffee. We can order basically anything we want. But no one cares much about my Chobani yogurt or oatmeal, so I'll skip to good part.

Each day, we make a huge mixed green salad for everyone that's in the office. We also have a roasted deli meat, crackers, cheese, carrots, and a big fruit salad to go with it. It's pretty basic, but always hits the spot.

If you need variety, and don't like eating the same thing every day. This probably wouldn't be for you, since we eat basically the same thing each day. But hey, we mix it up once a week for Tuna Thursday! And we go all out for Birthday's too!

Anyways, I am so thankful that I can count on this healthful lunch each day. At the very least I know I'll always get my daily serving of fruit and veggies, even if it gets old some days.

Is anyone still reading?.... Do you pack your lunches for work or eat out most days? Have you ever worked somewhere that provided meals?




Everyday Makeup

Happy Wednesday! We're halfway through the week! I think this week seems to be dragging a little bit slower than usual because I'm so excited to go home and spend the weekend with my family! Especially the newest member! I can't believe he is almost two weeks old! That seems crazy, I haven't spent nearly enough time snuggling him!

 1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. / 9.

I don't know about you, but I love seeing what types of beauty and makeup products other people use, and what their favorites are. Because hey, what girl doesn't want to learn a few makeup tips and tricks? So I thought I would share my favorite basic makeup products with you. 

I generally keep it pretty simple when it comes to makeup. Unless I am going out to celebrate or getting dressed up, I stick to the basics. This is partially because I am too lazy to get up an extra half hour earlier in the mornings, but I digress...

On the average day, I usually only spend about 10 minutes on my makeup. These are my favorite products that I can't live without.

1.         Lotion with SPF - I am really picky about face lotion. I need sunscreen for my daily moisturizer, but I HATE  the smell/feel of sunscreen on my face. Finding something to meet these requirements is tricky business. Thankfully, I discovered Laline, their Face The Day Lightweight Lotion with Vitamin E and SPF25 is great! I've been using it for about a year now and have no complaints. I also like that it is SPF 25, most lotions I've found have no more than SPF 15.
2.         Concealer - I like using concealer under my eyes and around my nose and cheeks to cover redness. But I like my makeup to look natural, and not cakey. I found this MAC Moisturecover Concealer a couple years ago and have been really happy with it. It's thin, but still has great coverage.

3.         Powder - I really like the MAC Studio Fix concealer and powder in one. A friend recommended it to me years ago, and I still use it. It has really great coverage, but again doesn't look cakey or feel heavy on my face. I've heard that MAC products aren't the best for your skin, but I haven't had a problem with it.

4.         Bronzer - I am a creature of habit. When they discontinued my favorite bronzer a while back, I started using Bare Escentuals Warmth, because at the time most of the makeup I used was Bare Escentuals. I like it, even though you have to be careful or it goes on too dark.  Are there any other bronzers out there I should know about?

5.         Blush - I use Joyous Jennifer blush from Bare Escentuals. I love it. It has a little shimmer to it that I really like. It's not too pink, and I think it looks natural. Definitely one I will continue to buy.

6.         Eyeliner - This MAC power point liner in "engraved" is the best eyeliner I've found. I wear liner on my bottom lashes, and hate when it rubs off and it ends up looking like you have two black eyes. This waterproof liner stays on all day. It is tricky to get off, but the MAC makeup remover or remover wipes do the trick.

7.         Lash Curler - For me, curling my lashes makes a huge difference. I feel like I look half asleep if I skip this step. My mom got me this curler for Christmas years ago, and it works great. Whenever I go makeup free, I almost always still curl my lashes. I think it makes a huge difference.

8.          Mascara - Run, don't walk to the nearest Nordstrom and buy this Trish McEvoy lash curling mascara. I promise you'll never look back. I used to always hate how my mascara ended up under my eyes, making it look like I hadn't slept in weeks. My friend told me about this mascara and as soon as I tried it, I was hooked. It comes off like eraser dust! (Seriously!) And it never smears or runs, even when you cry your eyes out! It is THE BEST makeup product ever. One of those things you take with you to a deserted island, good! This is the most expensive makeup item I use, but it is well worth it.

             Tip: Nordstrom has a mascara sale twice a year around the time of the Half Yearly Sale. Buy two get one free!

9.         Chapstick - I love the look of lipstick. Red, pink, brown, glossy, matte. I love it all. Only problem is, I never remember to wear, much less buy, lipstick. So generally, I am wearing Chapstick or Burt's Bees. Probably better for my lips, but a little lackluster.

Well, there is my rather boring makeup routine, but I like to keep in basic.  It's quick in the morning before work, but I still feel put together. Plus, this way I feel like there is more of a "wow" factor when I actually do take my time and get ready. Best of both worlds!

What are your favorite makeup products? Do you stick to one brand, or use a variety?




A Southern California Wedding Weekend - Part 2

Staci and Wesley’s wedding was so beautiful. It was perfect for Staci, just how I would imagine her wedding to be. It had a beach theme, and there were touches throughout the decor that really showed Staci’s personality.

Staci has always LOVED Disneyland, so there were a lot of little Disney elements throughout the wedding, but it wasn't overdone. She walked down the aisle to a Disney song, and their engagement photos that were taken in Disneyland were on display as well. I loved this one of them on the teacups!

Adam Kent Photography 

The venue was in Malibu, right on the water, with huge windows overlooking the ocean. During the ceremony, they kept the windows open so you could hear the waves crashing in the background. Wesley kept mouthing, “I love you” to Staci during the ceremony, it was so sweet. You could really see how happy and excited they both were.

It was so nice that the venue was the same for both the ceremony and the reception. They had taken the first look and other photos before the ceremony, so they just went down to the beach for a few minutes to get a some shots as the sun was setting.  They had a bar and appetizers so their guests were able to get a drink and visit while they were outside taking pictures. There was also a nice deck wrapping around the venue so we took some pictures outside with the sunset, and spied on Staci and Wesley taking their pictures down on the beach.

Once they announced the new couple, they had their first dance. I’ve truly never seen Staci happier, and I am just so excited for them! I know they’ll have a long and happy marriage.

After the first dance as a married couple, and father daughter dance, we were seated for dinner. Another Disney element was the table names. They were all named after Disney couples, we were seated at "Lady and the Tramp". The dinner was excellent; they served chicken, salmon, pasta, potatoes and salad. Everything was really good.

After dinner and the cake cutting, we hit the dance floor. It was SO much fun spending time with my college girlfriends. We hadn't all been together for quite a while, and it was just like old times. We kept requesting all the songs we’d listen to when we went out to the bars in college. At most times we were the only people on the dance floor, but we didn't care. We were in our own world!

It was a great wedding, and we all had a blast. I am so happy for Wesley and Staci. They make a really great couple and its so great to see Staci so happy. She was truly a glowing bride.

The weekend went by so fast. I can’t believe I’m back at work already. Even though it was a long drive for only a weekend away, I am so glad we got to spend so much time with our old college friends. Its fun to look back and see how far we've all come. I can’t believe it has already been 7 years since we graduated. I never would have guessed back then that Andrew and I would end up together. Things always have a way of working out, and I’m so glad it’s turned out this way.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Snyder! 

Do you like going to weddings?

I LOVE going to weddings! They're always so much fun :) It's a good thing too, I have three more this summer! 




A Southern California Wedding Weekend - Part I

This was a whirlwind weekend, it seems like we just left San Francisco to head down south, and I’m writing this as we head back over the Grapevine towards home.

It was a wonderful weekend, filled with good friends. We didn't get into Santa Monica until about midnight Friday, so we just got settled in our hotel room and went to bed. On Saturday morning we were up early for breakfast with our friends that stayed in the same hotel.

We found a great little restaurant on Yelp that was near our hotel, so we were able to walk over for breakfast. It was a popular little spot called The OP Cafe, we waited about 20 minutes before we were seated, and there was an even longer line when we left. I ordered their huevos rancheros and Andrew had their daily special, steak and eggs. Both were excellent. Our friend Danny got the chorizo scramble, and he said it was really good as well.

The OP Cafe pictures are from their website

After breakfast we headed towards Vince Beach to meet up with the rest of or friends. We ended up meeting along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, it’s a really cute street with a lot of boutiques and restaurants. There were some food trucks there as well. Since we had just eaten we didn't stop at the Kogi truck, even though we all wanted to since we’d heard about it and it smelled delicious. I decided to get a fresh juice instead at the JUICEBOX truck. It was so good. I had the CitrusBox, which had orange, golden beets, lemon, carrots and cayenne sprinkled on top. It was delicious, and the cayenne gave it a little kick.

Pictures from the JUICEBOX Facebook Page - Click photo to see their website

The boys all posted up at a bar, playing pool and having a few beers, so my friend Laura and I drank our juices, walked around and window shopped. We lived together for 3 years in college, so it was so really great to catch up and visit with her.

I was a little disappointed that we didn't make it down to Venice Beach to walk around, but we ran out of time and had to get back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. With the traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway, we wanted to leave an hour before the wedding so we were on time.

Once we were back to the hotel, I started getting ready. I used Rent the Runway for my dress. It’s my second time renting a dress for an event, and I love it. It’s so nice they provide you with two sizes so you don’t have to worry too much about the fit, and for an extra $25 you can get a second dress in case you don’t like the first one. I find the reviews from other customers that include pictures to be really helpful because you can get a sense for how any given dress would fit your body type. 

For the wedding this weekend, I rented a Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Pastel Kaleidoscope maxi dress, and I loved it! It was dressy but not overdone for a beach wedding. And it was long enough I was still able to wear heels. (I’m 5’7” so sometimes dresses are short on me).  I was really happy with my rental; it was in great condition and fit pretty well, but was a little big in the chest. I used some of the fashion tape they provide to keep it up, and it worked great!

Once we were ready, we went over to our friends room for a cocktail while we waited for the taxi to arrive. I did a little photo shoot with the boys since they were all dressed up.

It was pretty amusing, they were quite impressed with themselves and dubbed the photo below the "rat pack" photo. It's fun to see Andrew when he is with his best friends, he's totally in his element. Now that most of us live in the bay area, hopefully we'll all be spending a lot more time together!

The wedding was so much fun! My friend Staci was an absolutely stunning bride. I’ll be back tomorrow with pictures and a re-cap.

How was your weekend? What did you do?




No more excuses!

I'm a little late checking in with you about my fitness routine, but I was a little busy last Friday.


I think it was just what I needed to share with you all that I had been struggling to stay motivated with my exercise routine. I knew that post would hold me accountable, and that I needed to stop making excuses!

I was able to get in some great workouts in the past two weeks. I feel really good about staying consistent and getting back on track. I can tell I have lost some strength with my hiatus, man spin class has been tough! But I know that I'll gain back what I lost, and then some!

I've managed to get to the gym 4 days both this week and last, and after weeks of making excuses I feel really good about that! It's not quite where I hope to be, but I think it's a good start.

My goal is to continue to work out in the morning most days, but I would like to incorporate some strength training again. I'll let you know how I do next week!


We're off to Southern California this weekend for a friend's wedding. I am so excited to see old college friends and catch up with everyone. We always have a great time together, so I am really looking forward to this weekend.  

I hope you have a great weekend! What are your plans?

Do you have any fitness goals?



Lessons Learned: Living With A Boy...

Andrew and I have lived together for a couple months now. And we've fallen quite easily into our new routine. I was actually surprised how nervous I was once it was official that he would be moving in. Since we had been doing long distance, we would be going from seeing each other once every six weeks or so, to seeing each other everyday. I knew it would be a big change, and didn't know what to expect.  But it has been such an easy transition. It feels so comfortable, I love our apartment and being able to spend our evenings together making dinners and walking Louis. It feels right to be taking this next step in our relationship.  

We talked about everything before hand, like finances and how we would split bills, and it made the transition so much easier when he moved in. As the weeks have passed, we've learned each other's routines, habits and quirks. He is definitely the best roommate I've ever had (and there have been a lot)!

Here are a few random things I have learned in the past few weeks:

**  He has opinions on how we decorate. Even though he seemed to have zero interest in decorating his old house, he has all sorts of opinions now. Maybe he is just as excited to live with me and make it our home as I am?  We already have a DIY project planned that I'm excited about. It will be fun to work together and make the apartment "ours."

**   He is a really good communicator. I didn't realize this when we lived 500 miles apart. But now that we live together, he is always the one to start the conversation and make sure we're on the same page. I'm SO appreciative of this because I tend to bottle things up, and I know it's better to talk things out.

**  It's like Hansel and Gretel live with us. He leaves a trail behind him around the house.                             (Like used paper towels??! Weird.)

**  He's funny. I already knew this, but it's even better getting to witness his humor on a daily basis. I especially like when he makes up songs and sings to me about what we're doing/talking about. It's quite entertaining. 
**  Seeing your best friend is the best! He makes me smile and we have so much fun together. I often wonder how I survived two years of long distance because I missed him after just a day when I went home last weekend.

I feel so lucky to have such an amazing and supportive roommate. Plus he's not bad to look at either. ;-) It has been so nice to finally feel like I am at home, and getting settled in the city. I think that is mostly to do with Andrew being here now.

Maybe I should have Andrew write a post about the things he's learned about me? I'm sure it would start with how I get hangry...

Do you live with your significant other? What things have you learned about each other.

P.S. I realized when I was proof reading this, that in all of these photos I am on the left and Andrew is on the right! Kinda funny! 


Happy Spring!

Happy first day of spring! 
It sure doesn't feel like spring outside though; it has been grey and raining all day. Luckily I am off to Malibu this weekend for a friends wedding. I cannot wait to be in the SUN! 
Since spring is officially here and all I can think about is fresh flowers and warm weather, I put together a little list of things I am currently lusting over. 
1.         Maxi Dress - I didn’t jump on the maxi dress train until late last summer, and now I can’t get enough! They are so comfy and easy, but I still feel put together wearing them.
2.         Driving Moccasins  - I used to wear heels everyday, but in San Francisco that is no longer reality. I love the casual style of driving moccasins and I know they’ll be perfect for exploring the city.
3.         Leopard Flats  - I bought the metallic pair at Target last weekend and love them. I’ve been looking for a subtle way to add leopard into my wardrobe and I think these are perfect.
4.         Party Dress  - I have quite a few weddings to attend this summer and of course, I’ll need a new dress. This one is fun and flirty, and I think I’d get a lot of use out of it.
5.         Running Shoes  - I’ve had my running shoes for over a year now, and its time for a new pair. I wanted to get something bright, so I was excited to see they make the style I wear in fun colors now.
6.         Mint Skinny Jeans  - Mint was all the rage last season, but I still love it. I think these would be perfect to throw on for a casual weekend outing.
7.         New Wallet  - I really need a new wallet, I’d love something fun like this Kate Spade one, but realistically for the price I’ll probably look for something simple.  
 8.        White Blouse  - A staple for any closet, and I don’t have one! I need to get on that…
9.       Floral Bikini  - I am slightly obsessed with floral lately, and I think a floral bikini would be fun and flirty for lying by the pool!
10.       Floral Top  - See above…obsessed with floral! I think either of these tops would be perfect for a sunny spring day. I love the soft floral print, but I had to throw in the bright blue aztec blouse as well.

What's on your wish list this Spring?


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