Happy New Year!

 

 

I don’t typically set New Year’s resolutions as I prefer to set goals at my birthday instead; but this year I chose a mantra.

Be Brave.

Quit the job you hate, start a business, write the novel, take the trip, say yes, say no, take the chance, say I love you, believe in yourself, give more, dance more, laugh more, dream more, but in all you do, Be Brave.

It’s disheartening how many things we don’t do because we’re scared…fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear of rejections, etc. Just imagine the amazing things that you could do for yourself…for others…for this world, if you were able to push past the fear.

The fear won’t just magically disappear for me, but this year I’m choosing to be brave in the face of the fear and let those resulting actions help build the life that I have always imagined. For anyone who is on their own journey of challenging the fear, please share. I’d love to hear how others are doing, what goals you have, what challenges you are facing…we can all support each other through this exciting journey!

Happy New Year!

I’m wishing you all an Incredible (and Brave) 2015!

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32 in 32 List

 

A few years back, when I was turning 30, I wrote out a list of things that I wanted to accomplish before I turned 31. I didn’t achieve everything, but I had a good time working on some of those goals. With everything going last year, I never got around to creating a 31 in 31 list; but I think it’s time to bust out the list again and attack it full force. Below I’ve listed out the 32 goals that I’ve picked to complete by 5/6/2015. I’m obviously getting a late start since I only have about 6 months until I turn 33, but I’m inspired to change my life and this is a start.

As motivation to complete the list (and not just the easy stuff), I’ve decided that for every goal missed I will donate $50 to charity. So if I only achieve 25 of the 32 goals, then I’m shelling out $350 to charity. That’s not chump change so I feel sufficiently motivated, and now it’s out there for all to see as well. No hiding now.

Without further ado…

 

It’s good for my soul:

1. Be a Vegetarian

2. Find a Local Yoga Studio that I love

3. Support a different charity every month (can be a donation of $$, time, or things)

4. Start volunteering at my local Animal Shelter

5. Be a Bridesmaid

For my brain:

6. Read 50 books

7. Finish a New York Times Crossword Puzzle in pen

Foodie:

8. Take a cooking class

9. Learn to make homemade pasta

It’s an Adventure:

10. Explore the Oregon Coast

11. Visit Arizona and see Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

12. Ice Skate at the Beach in San Diego

For the home:

13. Purge my closet and sell or donate excess items

14. Buy or Build a Dining Room Table

15. Have the house painted professionally (for the walls I can’t reach)

For my Health:

16. Meet my weight loss goal

17. Take a Dance or Aerial Silks Class

18. Find a Kind Dentist & Dermatologist

19. Obtain NASM CPT Certification

20. Run 30 minutes straight

21. Do a handstand with no wall support, hold for at least 5 seconds

22. Try SUP or Paddleboard Yoga

Creativity:

23. Successfully complete NaNoWriMo

24. Sign with a Literary Agent

25. Start a side business

26. Move blog to Self-Hosted and Re-Design the layout

27. Take an art or design related class

For the fun of it:

28. Get a Tattoo

29. Wear a Bikini (outside the dressing room)

30. Pay off at least one credit card (or get 2 below a set amount)

31. Become an early riser (6am-ish)

32. Go to a hockey game (preferably a LA Kings game)

3 Months From Now…

 

I can’t believe that this year is already half over! I don’t typically set New Year’s Resolutions, but many do…and many stop making progress shortly thereafter. Maybe you wish that you had just continued to work out, eat healthy, stop smoking, etc. Can you imagine where you’d be now if you had just stuck to your plan back then? I suspect I’m not the only one having these thoughts. Geez, I’d be in such a different place if I had continued to work toward my goals 6 months ago!

 

Yes.

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Time will pass and Summer will be over before you know it. I can either make changes in my life now, or continue to live stagnant. I want to be a different place 3 months from now, so I’m planning to work on the following goals over the next three months. As I shared yesterday, I’ll be blogging once a day in July, so most posts will be shorter than usual. I’ll be expanding on the goals below in separate posts, and documenting the progress along the way.

 

3 MONTH GOALS

 

  • Learn to play the Guitar
  • Study for the NASM CPT Exam
  • Finish the Office Remodel
  • Declutter the house
  • Focus on health (physical and mental)
  • Give my pup a better life
  • Put more focus into the blog

 

So, who’s with me?

What do you want to accomplish this Summer? Set aside some level of realism and dream big for a minute…where/what do you want to be in life?

2013 Principles [How To Be The Best Me]

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into if I wanted to set any goals in the new year, and took nearly a month to actually post something! Since I set specific goals around my birthday [30 in 30], I decided that I wasn’t doing any New Year’s Resolutions this year. No need to overwhelm myself with more goals when I have plenty to work on before my birthday in May. So instead of New Year’s Goals or Resolutions, I decided to focus on 10 principles to live by.

2013-Principals

Once I wrote out the list, I realized that this isn’t how I want to live in just 2013…it’s how I want to live my whole life. I think most are self explanatory and you can certainly adjust them if you’d like to use a similar list for yourself. I think the one that probably needs clarification is, ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally’. I took this principal from the book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book). It means exactly what it sounds like, but the author can explain much better than I as to why it’s so important. I praised this book when I originally read it in March 2012, and you can read more about my impression in this post. That book changed the way I live my life now, and I would recommend it to anyone that’s ready to listen to the message.

 

So there you go, that’s what I’ll be focusing on in 2013 (and beyond).

 

What would you add if you were making a [how to live your best life] list?

San Francisco – Nike Women’s Half Marathon 2012

What’s the one thing that a blogger should NEVER forget when travelling? Well, it’s the one, and ONLY thing I left at home on accident. My Aircard, meaning I had no internet in the hotel while I was in San Francisco this past weekend. Yes, I could have paid the ridiculously high fee to get internet, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So let’s recap a great long weekend, shall we? I took Friday through Tuesday off of work to travel to San Francisco with my mom for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. On Friday I caught up on errands around the house, packed, and the headed to my parents house for dinner and to spend the night. We got up bright and early on Saturday for our flight which was relatively painless. We arrived in San Francisco around 1pm and took a shuttle to the hotel which was near Union Square. Yes, it’s far more expensive to stay in that area, but we wanted to be near the start of the race on Sunday morning.

We immediately headed to pick up our race packets, hoping it would be a quick process. So WRONG. The line looped around union square twice and took almost 2 hours. When I did this race in 2009, we picked up our packets on Friday, it took only minutes. If I have the chance to do this race again in the future, I’m coming in on Friday just to beat the last minute crowds.

After picking up the packets, we went straight to dinner, which also took a few hours. Obviously this was to be expected since there were 25,000 runners in town that night. We ate at Cheesecake Factory and it was delicious, well worth the wait.

After dinner we decided to wander around town a bit, it was  gorgeous evening.

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The weather was fantastic over the weekend, perfect for the race. In fact, I was bummed to go home since our weather is still in the 90’s. I wish the fall weather would get here already.

We called it an early night and headed back to the hotel fairly early. Turns out we were also in for a show. When we got back to the hotel, I noticed they were setting up some sort of stage on the street outside our hotel window. I thought it might be for the race, but turns out they were hosting a free street dance show.

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The show featured all types of dancers and a live band. It was really fun to watch from the comfort of our room and went on for about 3 hours.

On Sunday morning we woke up about 5:15 am after getting pretty much NO sleep. I’m not sure if it was the nerves/excitement about the race, or the caffeinated tea we drank late that night (we thought it was decaf), but we had trouble getting much sleep. I think in all, we probably got about 3-4 broken hours.

It didn’t matter much, the excitement woke me up, and we made our way to the starting line. Whereas the packet pick up was a mess (Nike – please mail them next year!), the starting line was great. Crowded, yes…but organized and easy to navigate.

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I love the feeling at the start of this race. There’s something really cool about dancing and cheering with 25,000 other women while we all warm up to run together. Lots of fun.

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I didn’t take a lot of pictures during the race it’s self since I only had my phone. The weather was PERFECT, cool and even misty at times.

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Mile 6 – (not the only) but the longest gradual uphill of the race.

My mom rocked the race and I am so incredibly proud of her. It was such an honor to be part of her first half marathon experience.

We finished around 3:30 and collected our Tiffany necklaces from the hot firemen. Which, let’s be honest, is why we do this race (oh yes, and raising money for an amazing cause). We wandered the finish line expo a bit but quickly made our way to the bus line to get back to the hotel. The bus line wait was LONG, and it felt longer because standing in line after going 13 miles is the last thing you want to do. Probably the most painful part of the journey is standing in that damn line. I found it funny that they had three food stands set up along the line which might give you an idea of how long it actually was.

We finally made our way back to the hotel and showered/ice bathed and decided a celebratory dinner was in order. (DUH!) I used Google walking directions to my favorite SF restaurant, Bistro Boudin Cafe, and we set off. I wish I had take a picture of the route I directed us to. I’m certain I found the tallest/steepest hill to walk up in San Francisco. Seriously, people were actually giving us words of encouragement as we climbed that sucker. It was worse than the race. I will NEVER live that down with my mom, I should never be allowed to direct us again after that one.

We finally made it to the restaurant and ate the BEST dinner EVER while overlooking the harbor.

We shared a shrimp cocktail (their cocktail sauce is made with horseradish and absolutely delicious) and sourdough bread. Then we split a crab Mac & Cheese, and an amazing Cobb salad.

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And because we could no longer walk any further due to that blasted hill on the way to dinner, we took the trolley home.

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There was a quick stop for a sweet treat on the way home, and an early evening to catch up on the sleep we missed the night before.

Monday was our last day in San Francisco and it started out with a text from Southwest telling me our flight was delayed a few hours. They later changed our flight time 4 more times, but at least we had more time to explore the city. So we took the 1 mile walk down to the wharf to check out the Ferry Building.

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I’ve always wanted to go to the Ferry Building, but never had a chance until this trip.

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I loved every gourmet second. We got there just as they were opening so it wasn’t too busy. I picked up some of the coolest snacks; including Coconut Jam(!), Dark Chocolate Sauce, a Coconut Chocolate Bar, and finally had a chance to try the famed Blue Bottle Coffee.

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Cafe Mocha – delicious.

I also picked up some sweets to eat back at the hotel after lunch. Lunch was a chili sourdough bowl at Boudins, then we tried French macaroons that I bought that morning.

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Oh, yeah, and a Gingerbread Cupcake. Absolutely scrumptious.

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Shortly after we headed to the airport, while standing in another long line (a theme for the weekend) at the check in counter, Southwest moved our flight an hour earlier. They had to move us to the front of the line and push us through security just so we could make it to our gate in time to…you guessed it…stand in another line since the plane hadn’t actually boarded.

Overall it was a GREAT weekend with my mom and I can’t wait to do it all again. In fact, if we don’t get into the Nike race next October, we’re planning a girls weekend to Santa Barbara. I’m counting the days.

…and for those keeping score, this means I can cross off two items from my 30 in 30 list. I’ve done 1 of 3 half marathons (I have another schedule in January and the 3rd in April),and spent a girls weekend with my mom in San Francisco.

 

If you made it all the way to the end you get a gold star…this was a long one. Thanks!

2012 Race Calendar

Lately I’ve been getting back into the running groove. Actually I should call it the fast walking/jogging as I work my way back to running. I’ve been using the C25K program to transition from walking into jogging and it’s going well. I’m repeating week 4 right now since I just wasn’t feeling it last week, but in combination with walking, I’m going about 15 miles a week, up from…well…0 a few weeks ago.

However, unlike every other time I’ve been on a running kick in the past, this time I’m not alone. If you remember this post, my mom and I lucked out with the lottery and won spots into the Nike Women’s Half Marathon this year. This will be my 2nd Half Marathon and my mom’s first. I’m so excited to do the race with her and have a fun girl’s weekend in San Francisco. I also have one other friend who has been bitten by the running bug lately so we’re planning to do a few races together in the future.

Oh, yeah, and I set a goal to run 3 half marathons by May…so there’s that too.

 

Here are the races on my calendar for this year.

 

American’s Finest City, 5K – San Diego

August 19th, 2012

I haven’t participated in this race before, but I’ve heard good things about it. I’m also excited to turn it into a little mini vacation as I’m booking a room at a hotel that provides shuttle service directly to the race which means less headache for me that day. There is no way I’m driving a few hours to a race at that early in the morning. The cost of the hotel is well worth the good nights sleep. 

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Nike Women’s Half Marathon – San Francisco

October 14, 2012

I ran this Half in 2009 and loved the experience. The race does have some faults; the website is awful and often missing critical info, the expo is a little lacking, and the first mile is tough because there are a lot of walkers who forget to stay to the side and often stop to take pictures. However, once you get past the first mile, the crowd thins out and I never had a problem navigating around people. The views were amazing, the weather was perfect, and I had a lot of fun.

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Iron Girl 10K – Del Mar, San Diego, CA

November 11, 2012

I was suppose to run this one last year, I even registered, but it didn’t happen. I ended up doing a 10K, just not at the race. Last year my mistake was a poor training plan, I just wasn’t ready, so this year I’m being much more diligent to sticking to a plan. It’s also a month after the Half Marathon so the HM training should give me a good prep for the 10K.

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As for the 30 in 30 list, this plan will cross off 1 of the Half Marathons, and I’ve already signed up for another one in 2013 (Rock & Roll, AZ), but I don’t expect to post about the 2013 races for a while. This will also achieve 2 other goals on my 30 in 30 list, Travel to San Francisco and Run a 5k or 10K with a friend (I’ll actually be doing both!).

 

What races are you planning to do this year?

30 in 30 Update– Learning Italian

Remember this little resolution list? Where I resolved to do 30 things in my 30th year?

Yeah, well I’m excited to start working on a big item on the list.

I’m Learning Italian!

Right after I announced my 30 in 30 goals, I received a notification for a Groupon Deal to Online Trainers which offers Online Language Lessons. I did a little research for reviews to Online Trainers and read quite a few good things, so I decided to go for it. It seemed like a sign when it popped in my inbox that day, and during purchase I found I had a $10 Groupon Bucks to spend which made it even cheaper.

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In the past I’ve tried various audio programs when I was trying to build on the French I learned in College and it worked well. I enjoy self paced classes and prefer online courses these days simply because I can work them around my schedule. I honestly would have loved to purchase the Rosetta Stone, but couldn’t bring myself to pay for the program. [I’m still kicking myself for not purchasing both French and Italian from Borders when they closed and put them on clearance.] I purchased the year long Online Trainers plan so hopefully by this time next year I’ll be crossing this goal off my list and speaking some decent Italian. Hell, I might even consider a trip to Italy as my 31st birthday trip (another list item).

Once I have been in the program for a while, I’ll do another check in and let you know how it’s going.

 

I’m curious: Anyone else out there trying to learn another language? If so, what language and how (i.e. school, online, self taught, etc)?

30 IN 30 List

As I alluded to in my last post, I have created a 30 in 30 list and I’m ridiculously excited about it. In an effort to achieve a few goals in each area of my life, I broke the whole list into several sections. I was aiming for things that felt completely achievable and a few that felt impossible. Those impossible ones will be so sweet to actually cross off the list.

 

Travel More/Embrace Adventure

· Travel to San Francisco for a Mom/Daughter Weekend

· Travel to Washington DC, visit family

· Travel to Arizona to visit my cousin and her new little girl

· Go Skydiving

17 Mile Drive, Carmel, CA

Financial Security

· Be Credit Card Debt Free

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photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Improve My Health

· Finish 3 Half Marathons

· Meet my weight loss goal

· Wear a Bikini (outside the dressing room)

 Total Motivation!

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Strengthen Relationships

· Finish a 5K or 10K with a friend

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Experience Spirituality

· Find a local Yoga studio and develop a regular practice

· Attend a Buddhist Temple

· Give Back

·  Find Peace & Let Go (Forgive)

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Learn How to Be Me

· Get a Tattoo

· New Ear Piercing

· Take part in a professional photo shoot

· Organize a fun 31st birthday bash

· Keep a Journal for the whole year

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Keep Learning & Work Harder

· Learn Italian

· Read 50 books

· Finish writing 3 full novels

· Get a Literary Agent

· Sign a Publishing Contract

· Quit my Day Job

· Post a Vlog or Podcast

· Take an Art Class

I want a Typewriter so much...

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Beautify the House

· Hire someone to Paint the Interior of the House

· Finish Office Re-Design

Organized Bliss

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Enhance my Inner Foodie

· Learn to make Fresh Bread and a Cake (including frosting) from scratch

· Try Sushi (something other than the California Roll)

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I’ve created a page for the website that contains this list and I’ll be updating it regularly as I post about achieving these goals. It will be an easy way to catch up on the progress throughout the year.

It’s Official – Some Exciting News

So let me walk you through a little history before I share some exciting news.

In late 2007, I started training for my first Marathon, Rock n Roll San Diego. I got into the best shape of my life and was sticking to training/eating right. A few weeks prior to the race, I was out doing my long run, 20 miles, but things didn’t go very well. I had started out later then I should have, and the weather warmed up to hotter than I expected. Thankfully I had brought a credit card with me so I could buy water along the way, it probably averted a trip to the ER for heat stroke. The high temps and a lot of unexpected hills forced me to walk when I got to about mile 10. That’s when the blisters kicked in, all over both feet, and at some point I pulled a muscle in the arch of my left foot. Between the heat, blisters, and general body pain, I limped home those last few miles holding back tears. It was only then that I realized that I also had severe sunburns on my back and shoulders.

So yeah, things didn’t go well, and I still wasn’t healed up enough a few weeks later to run the marathon.

It ended up being okay, because instead of running a marathon in 2008, I brought home this little guy! (yes, that’s a cast on his tiny broken leg)

Chocolate Lab Puppy in a Cast

Who would later grow up to be this, not so little guy…

Chocolate Lab

Then things in my life kind of fell apart. However, I found out that I won an entry into the 2009 Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Due to all the crap going on in my life at that time I was excited but dubious. I didn’t train nearly as hard or eat as well as I should have; however, it was an AMAZING experience. It was my first Half Marathon and my only goal was to finish without being swept.

Nike Women's Half Marathon 2009

I did finish in just over 3 hours, and paired the race with a road trip up the California coast which made for an incredible vacation. My parents drove up to San Francisco to watch me run, and my mom told me that next time she wanted to do the race with me.

We have entered the drawing every year since.  No Luck.

17 Mile Drive, Carmel, CA

So here we are in 2012 and I haven’t been running much, by choice. However, we still entered the race drawing in the hopes that we would get in.

Imagine my surprise when I found an email in my inbox this morning welcoming me to the race in October!

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Holy Crap!

So my exciting news is that my mom and I will be participating in the Nike Half Marathon in San Francisco on 10/14/2012. She will be training to walk the course, and since she walks at the speed of lightning, I’ll be training to jog alongside her. I am ridiculously excited about this, and we’ve already started planning a fun girls weekend this fall.

Eco Challenge – Join A CSA

Bad news…I don’t have a grocery update for you today. With the unexpected work stress over the past 2 weeks, I didn’t get to the store so I’ve been eating what I had in the house or going out. There have been so many days when I just don’t have the energy to cook. It’s definitely out of the norm for me to eat out so often, but for the sake of my sanity it’s been necessary lately.

Good News…I joined a CSA!

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I have been wanting to join a CSA for years, but the one I wanted to join had a very limited route in my area so it wasn’t practical for me. However, in my new area they deliver to a nearby Farmers Market, so I signed up this week and begin picking up my Fruits/Veggies this weekend. I signed up to receive the Regular size box every 2 weeks and I’m on a trial membership so I can see how that size works out. They also offer a smaller box just in case the Regular is too much food.

Each week they post the box contents so I already know what I’m getting this week and I’m excited!

Regular Size: Lettuce, Bunching Onions, Sorrel, Spinach, Radishes, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Lemons, Apples, Strawberries

There are a few things in there that I’ve never tried before, like Sorrel and Swiss Chard. What is Sorrel?

The CSA I decided to sign up for is JR Organics which  Certified Organic Vegetable Farm and has been in business since 1959 (Organic since 1986). It was also a plus that they are located right near my family, less than an hour from my house. It nice to know that the food won’t travel far. In addition to the Fruits/Veggies, this CSA also has flower shares you can buy so I’ll also receive a bouquet of flowers with each food box.

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I’ll give you a peak at the actual box/flowers once I get it, but if you’re in the Southern California area you may want to check them out. I’m not sure they hit LA, but they do set up at farmers markets all over Sand Diego and even into Orange County.

If you want to find a CSA near you, check out the Local Harvest website for resources.

 

For anyone wondering, I plan to adjust my weekly food budget to account for the weekly cost of the CSA. It cost about $20 a week so I plan to reduce the rest of my budge down to $20 a week. I’m at least going to try and see how it works out. More on that in the coming weeks.