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Noble Canyon is, by far, one of our favorite trail runs so far!  At first we were both warned and worried that it would be 7 miles up and 7 miles down.  Our thoughts went straight to a steep and long-drawn incline.  However, it ended up just being rolling hills with enough downhills to make up for the uphills, anddddd a lot of fun.  The Noble Canyon Trail also links up with the Big Laguna Trail/PCT/Mount Garnet Peak (where we camped together earlier this year).

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We accidentally hit a few wrong turns, and didn’t know exactly how far we were supposed to go. With a little help from Google Maps, we found our way back on the path.  At one wrong turn we encountered these hunters, off the beaten path, hanging a dead carcass upside down.  As the trail ended we realized we went the wrong direction.  Our only choice was to run back past them.  As we ran by their lifted truck playing eerily old music, I could only envision getting shot down, dragged back to their camp, and hung upside down.  Kind of like a scary movie/True Detective, or some type of demented vision!!!

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We enjoyed the diverse scenery, from alpine meadows to oak forests and dry desert. The trail was well-mainted and but rocky and super fun in some areas. Funny enough, the week after we ran here it rained enough and was cold enough for snow to form!

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I think Elisa and I will both consider this as “the” run of the year. And we’ll definitely have to go back, and maybe experience it from the Upper Trailhead.

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Entrance: Lower Noble Trailhead, Pine Valley, CA 91962. From San Diego, take I-8 east to the off ramp for Pine Valley. Exit the highway and turn left. Travel north for .3 miles to Old Highway 80. Turn left onto Old Highway 80 and travel about 1.2 miles to Pine Creek Road. Turn sharply right onto Pine Creek Road and travel 1.6 miles to the trailhead parking on the right.
Route: Follow the trail and try not to get lost!
Miles: ~14.5 miles out-and-back

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I don’t think it’s a big secret that I’ve been having fun, living it up, and maybe enjoying myself a little too much. Thankfully, the new year came around to re-instate a #newyearnewme :-P. However, this past week I really got back on track and started to kick my butt into gear. Here’s are some steps I’m taking to re-start my fitness/healthy lifestyle:

  • Set a goal: For me, this is to have a really strong spring marathon (Mountains 2 Beach). It would be great to BQ. However, even just giving it my all for this training cycle (within reason) and having a solid race would be a success.
  • Find something new: I honestly have not cross-trained since before the Chicago Marathon. But at the same time, I find myself burnt out on the usual workouts I used to opt for on the side (e.g. yoga, yoga sculpt, Pilates). This week I got a new gym membership and started swimming again. And I’m SO EXCITED TO SWIM! I find myself waking up (willingly) before 6am to get a lane and get a workout in early.
  • Step outside the gym: I’m also striving to be more active, aside from running. Whether it’s playing a sport recreationally (we might start a kickball team), shooting hoops, or hiking, I want to be more active/outdoorsy and not always focused on just running as a means of activity.
  • Cut the booze: well not all of it (because alcohol is kinda great…). But I’m definitely trying to make more conscientious decisions and break out of the habit of having a casual beer some nights.

What do you do to help get yourself back on track?

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On a rare open afternoon a couple of Saturdays ago, London and I visited an Encinitas staple, the Lumberyard Tavern. Nestled in the Lumberyard shopping center on Coast Hwy 101, Lumberyard Tavern is local favorite, serving up craft brews, a “saloon-style” whiskey collection, and elevated traditional bar foods.

Taking in the warmth of this winter day, we sat on the patio and started with a few refreshing drinks — $3 Bloody Mary for Ash and a Mother Earth Hefe for Lond.

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Sitting out lazily basking in the sunlight, we started with the Grilled Artichoke – served with house herb aioli & balsamic dipping sauces. This meaty artichoke offered a healthy alternative to fried starters and brought back memories of our summer grilling days.

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For our first entrée, we went with the Fish Tacos – grilled mahi, cabbage, jalapeno cream sauce, mango pico de gallo, served with house black beans. The flour tortillas were thin and soft but just sturdy enough and the fish fresh and flakey, but the mango pico de gallo was the real star of the dish!

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For our second entrée, we shared the Seaside Market Tri-Tip Sandwich– loaded with the famous “Cardiff Crack,” white cheddar and horseradish cream sauce on a french roll, side of au jus. If you’ve never had “Cardiff Crack,” you’re majorly missing out! It’s the crack-like addicting amazing tri-tip they serve at Seaside Market. A local favorite (ours as well), when you see the words “Cardiff Crack,” you just do it!

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We always save room for dessert, of course. When we saw the Tavern Bread Pudding topped with vanilla bean ice cream and blueberries, we knew we had to order. Bread pudding is one of Ashleigh’s all-time favorite desserts. Anything that mixes hot with cold (and ice cream too) is a winner. This bread pudding did not disappoint.

The Lumberyard Tavern is a great place to gather with friends, whether you want to casually hang and catch up or watch a game with your whole crew. They’re always serving up a number of specials, a couple of which intrigued us to come back again (e.g. “Mexican Mondays” for tacos, and “tri-tip Tuesdays” for the signature “Cardiff Crack” from Seaside Market).

Have you been to the Lumberyard Tavern before?
What’s your favorite comfort bar food?

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Thanks to the Lumberyard Tavern for hosting us!

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Based off my “Goals” section, here is what I was hoping to achieve in 2014:

Surprisingly, and successfully, I achieved every one of those goals on that list.

I forgot, I also wanted to run 2,014 miles in 2014, but I came short and only ran 1511.5 miles.

Here’s what I’m hoping to achieve in 2015:

  • Qualify for Boston (3:35 marathon)
  • Qualify for NYC Marathon (1:30 half)
  • Start swimming again
  • Do a (sprint) tri
  • Find balance with working hard and having fun!

What are you goals for this new year?

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Well, my month of unlimited Pilates is over, and now I’m looking for the new, next best cross-training thing.

One thing that’s been put on my radar (although it hasn’t entered the San Diego scene yet) is fitmob. fitmob is a fitness app currently based in the Bay Area (sign up for 7 days FREE!) and offers fun & challenging workouts with top trainers. There are a variety of workouts from cardio to strength training, dance, and yoga. These classes are offered during all times of the day, both indoors and outdoors.

Unlike gym memberships, you pay exactly for what you use, and if you workout more, then you pay less (talk about an incentive to get fit!).

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It’s a great way to get active in your community and meet new people. fitmob also offers group training options, called MobTribes, to make personal training more affordable (70% less than most one-on-one training sessions) and more of a group effort!

I’m excited to try out fitmob when it comes to SD.

Fitmob is offering one reader the chance to win a $25 gift card to Athleta to inspire your workouts!

Enter to win here:a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Midnight, October 15th

Make sure to enter a valid email address so that fitmob can contact you!

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Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Sverve. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

photo 1_15Last Friday London and I went to the VIP Media Party for the San Diego County Fair. It ended up being basically a taste of the fair, with every food you could possibly fry, cover in bacon or stuff in a Krispy Kreme.  The best part was that everything was free! I likened it to going to a buffet and putting everything you might want to taste on your plate, then taking one bite and throwing it away because you can (although it is wasteful, what else are they going to do with that food?).

Our night when a little something like this:

  • Farrell’s ice cream
  • Roasted corn
  • Fish tacos (fried of course)
  • Bacon donuts
  • Slurpees
  • Fried artichokes and mushrooms
  • Cinnamon rolls

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  • Krispy Kreme burger
  • Chicken kabob (finally, not fried)
  • Fried cookie dough

The new hot item for this year is the Krispy Kreme Burger (although I wasn’t a fan…didn’t even get a chance to take a bite before the scent reminded me of Piper…)

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We waited in this line the longest, mainly because we just wanted to take a picture of it. So yes, this was a #youdidnoteatthat moment, because really, we didn’t.  In the midst of waiting for KKB (Krispy Kreme Burger), we were entertained by Godfrey the Magician, who multiplied foam bunnies and made my signed card appear not from the middle of the deck, but from a sealed envelope, in his sealed up wallet, in the side flap of his vest.  CRAZY!

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It was a fun night, and maybe just enough to get my fill of the fair, since I’m not a huge carnie-ride junkie.  Spinning rides make me nauseous…as do all other rides, since I make myself sick to my stomach thinking the absolute worst (imminent death)!

What’s your favorite part of the fair?  Love the food, rides, live music, etc.?  

On and off I’ve been wanting to get a new car. Mainly because my car is just a compact car. I’d like to upgrade to something bigger, with the potential for more activities, and because, well, I’m a Mom (Piper says you aren’t a soccer mom unless you drive the car).

My dream car has always been a Volvo XC90 (very soccer mom-ish). However, last December when I was in Modesto, I rode around in Kate’s new Honda CRV she had traded her BMW in for (big words). I was impressed with how fancy they had become with bluetooth, rear-view backing cameras, heated seats…all the bells and whistles (this is not an endorsement for Honda). Flash-forward to more recently when I drove my mom’s new CRV and realized how smooth it rode and how much more I like being a little higher when I’m driving.

So yesterday, after I dropped my current car off at the dealership to be serviced after my no-oil snafu, I coincidentally happened to be surrounded by many other car dealerships. With my mom by my side, I decided to go LOOK at the new Honda CRV’s. Well, obviously, LOOKING at a car dealership is nearly impossible.

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Within minutes we were already talking to a sale person, looking inside cars, and what do you know, test-driving a new CRV. This immediately became my dream car, the leather seats, sun-roof, slick interior.

I had never been in the market for a car so I decided it would be worth it to figure out some numbers. Just TALK numbers. Again, just TALKING is nearly impossible.

We went from talking, to “if I get you a good deal, and the price is right, sign here that you’ll buy now.” I immediately felt over-pressured. I felt like I wanted to cry and then I just started to feel bratty and immediately wanted to leave.

Then the sales person made me feel bad that I wanted the most expensive model, but thought I could pay far under the bare minimum. But it’s like, if I get a new car, it’s going to be the one I want. Not something new and basic. Then I might as well keep my full functioning car.

Lately I’ve been making spontaneous purchases, like a new TV and a new couch, but because I needed those and the price was right. A car is a much bigger undertaking and the sales person likening it to “just buying a new car, if the price is right, you buy it.” No, buying a car is not just buying a car. IT’S BUYING A FREAKING CAR. Quite possibly the biggest purchase I could make at this point in my life.

My dad put it in the best terms for me “at least now you know, you can determine when you can afford it so it won’t affect your lifestyle. No good having a new car and no money for fun.” Exactly.

So I left with no car, a sour taste in my mouth, and a new perspective that if I was a sales person I would hate myself.

The end.

Today I want to share some of my favorites. Because I can. And because lately I feel so passionately about things and they instantly become my absolute favorite.

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New water front park (and apparently panoramic pictures). This park just opened up 10 days ago.  Before, it used to be a big parking lot for the county building, under-utilized from the most part (if I can remember). Even though everyone and their mother comes here to bathe in the water feature, it’s honestly so cool. Just a couple blocks from my house, Piper and I have already run through it a couple times.

Sam Smith. OMG. I listen to him at work, driving, etc., but the other night I just put in my headphones and I just wanted to cry tears of happiness because I was filled with so much love (also maybe because I was just tired). LOL. Even though his songs make me feel like I should be going through a break-up, they make me feel so strongly. And since I have nothing to be sad about, it just makes me really happy.

Portlandia. This has been my favorite show to go to sleep to for the past month or two. I usually watch about an episode and a half before I fall asleep. This skit about farting at a vegan restaurant made me laugh out loud. If you know me, I have no shame in poop-humor.

photo 3_6Burger Lounge salad with my new favorite homemade dressing

Homemade dressing. Equal parts ACV, toasted sesame oil, and lemon juice (e.g. 1 tablespoon of each).  Flavorful and easy.

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BIKINIS! I went to Gone Bananas in Mission Bay last week. After a long ordeal with parking, I was rushed for time, and ending up making a quick decision which probably helped with my usual indecisiveness.

TOMS Platform Wedges. Quite possibly the most comfortable “dressy” shoes I own. Since Piper ruined my first pair, I’m contemplating re-buying I just re-bought them in taupe, and got another pair in black.

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Free People Tanks.  So simple, comfortable and cheap.  I have 4 colors in this style and 2 in this…OBSESSED.

 
 
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