Category Archives: Life

Back to the Blogosphere

Almost one year has since my last post, and man have things changed around here! In short, I got promoted and went from working less than 30 hours a week to close to 60. The same week of my promotion I went out on my first date with Beau, who has since become my fabulous boyfriend. I went from many hours of free time each week to exercise, cook and eat healthy meals and spend time with friends to barely have the time (and energy) to get to know my new guy.

In these past 11 months I have learned (or maybe relearn) 2 very important things about myself:

1. No matter what amazing things may be happening in my life, even things I have wanted for years, I will not be happy if I don’t take time for my friends, eat well, and exercise. It didn’t hit me how off-balance my life was until I went to a Christmas party in December and I realized it had been over six months since I had seen my friends. During the first months of my new position, I was usually tired and no amount of caffeine could help with that. My love handles that I fought so hard to loose were coming back. I had lost all balance in my life.

2. Blogging is a must. Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies, one of my favorite things I have. It has connected me to new friends, new interests (vlogging) and reunited me with old favorites (beauty stuff).

So, here I am!

So happy to be back.

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Filed under Blogging, Life

What I Eat

Roasted Broccoli. A favorite of mine.

Roasted Broccoli. A favorite of mine.

Since Operation Love Handle, I’ve been continuously asked: What do you eat?

That’s a great question. What do I eat?

Not meat, for starters. And, fish only when I eat out.

I’ve limited my dairy, too.

I know what you’re thinking: What’s left?

I know that’s what you’re thinking because I previously thought too. When you grow up on the Standard American Diet, you are use to meat being the star of the show. Meat is what dinner is cooked around. Heck, meat dictates your wine choice.

Two years ago I started reading vegetarian and vegan blogs and thought the women who wrote them were slightly extreme and little delusional. Although their food looked good, I didn’t believe it tasted good. However, I saw one commonality in these women: (besides having food blogs) they looked great. Sure, they exercised, but they glowed in their pictures. I couldn’t help to think their diet may have had something to do with it.

After a year of my new diet and exercising, I believe it’s true. I believe their diet (and mine) helps you to feel and look great.

I love what I eat. I don’t have cheat days or “bad foods”; I eat second and third helpings and have dessert twice a day. I am always full and feel energized and nourished.

My diet may look boring, but like any change, it just took some time to get used to. I started by changing my breakfast, then my dinner, then my lunches. It was slow and I waited to make another change when I was ready. I still have junk food from time to time but usually have a stomach ache or other poor physical reaction after eating junk that deters the next purchase of a bag of Oreos. (But not always. I bought Oreos last week). 🙂

So, all this talk about food. What do I eat?

Previous Diet:

Breakfast: Usually cereal. I enjoyed Special K with Berries, or Oatmeal Squares. I’d eat an entire bowl and be famished in an hour.

Snack: Always crackers. Always. Wheat Thins, or Pita crackers (from Trader Joe’s) usually with hummus or just plain. I’d eat about a 1/2 cup and be hungry again before lunch.

Lunch: A turkey/ham/salami sandwich, maybe some fruit, a cookie/dessert. Probably more crackers. Or, leftovers from a previous dinner. My lunch would hold me for a few hours.

Snack: Sometimes fruit. Usually crackers.

Dinner: Enchiladas, Pasta, Tacos, Mac & Cheese, Hamburgers, Tuna Melts, and Quesadillas.

Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Pies, or Ice Cream

Beverages: Wine, Beer, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, Coffee, Water, Lemonade, Iced Tea, Mochas, and Frappacinos.

Current Diet:

Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Did I say how much I love this?) or 2 slices of Sprouted Multi Grain toast with natural peanut butter (now I make this at home!) and a drizzle of honey. I usually make one cup of Oatmeal. I know. One Cup Of Oatmeal. It’s a lot of Oatmeal. But, if I give myself enough time in the morning and I eat the entire cup and I’m full for hours and I feel fabulous.  Toast normally by itself isn’t as much of a powerhouse, but my bread has 5 grams of protein + 5-7 grams of protein from the natural peanut butter.

Snack: Fruit and/or almonds. Sometimes Banana Bread or Muffins.

Lunch: Leftovers from the dinner or Beans, Greens, and Grains. Definitely not the most exciting lunch, but the most filling. I have been eating this for over a year for lunch (not everyday but many days a week) and I have tons of energy and feel great when I eat it. Sometimes I’ll have Mediterranean Salad Shakers.

Snack: Almost never needed. More almonds/ or fruit
Dinner: Maple Baked Lentils With Sweet Potato, Quick and Easy Tomato Mushroom Pasta, Portobello and Poblano Fajitas, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Sauce, Twenty Minute Four Bean Vegetarian Chilli, Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Miso Dressing, Macaroni & Peas, Balsamic Kale Salad with Apple and Pear, Tofu Dippers, Roasted Chickpea Tacos, Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf.

I’ll make one of the more complicated dinners one night a week, then usually just have Angela’s go to dinner or Emily’s.

I still regularly eat my go-to easy convenience meals – all of which lack nutrition – Nachos, Quesadillas, or Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I have revised how I eat these junk food dinners – I always pair them with a large helping of roasted vegetables, and make the Nachos and Quesadillas loaded with black beans and little cheese.

Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Pies. Not much has changed here. Sometimes I’ll try a vegan recipe, but usually stick to my old favorites.

Beverages: Wine, Beer, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, Mineral Water, Water, Jasmine Green Tea, Herbal Tea, Iced Tea and occasionally coffee.

********************

I love my current diet. I am by no means a expert, but my diet works for me.  I love the way I look, but most importantly, the way I feel. I’ve never been this healthy, either. I’ve been careful to get the nutrients meat provides and maintaining a balanced diet. I’ve worked with my physician to ensure I am getting everything I need in my diet. It’s a diet I never thought I would have, but I now can’t imagine eating any other way.

What are some of your favorite (non-meat) health foods?

**Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist and have no medical training. I am sharing what has worked for me. Please consult a medical professional before making any changes to your diet. **

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Filed under Food!, Life, Living Simply

Self Shaming

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I know this may come as a shock to you, but I did not eradicate judgment from my life after I wrote my Non-Judging post.

I know.

In fact, after I decided to stopallthejudging, I found myself slightly more judgmental. Especially judgmental towards myself.

Confession: Not only do I judge myself, I shame myself.

I shame myself for not making good choices.

I shame myself for not walking Tahnee everyday.

I shame myself that Tahnee has gained weight in the last year (from not walking as much). DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself for spending too much money going out with friends.

I shame myself for being tired after a night of fun (going out with friends and spending money). DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself for not calling my grandma enough. (Sorry, Grandma).

I shame myself for making mistakes at work- even though I know better. DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself that there is always dog hair on my floor.

I shame myself that my room is never clean.

I shame myself for not flossing everyday.

I shame myself for eating out when I’m tired, stressed or anxious. DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself that I have made poor choices in the past which have led me to unpleasant things today. (i.e. previously spending beyond my means; I am now paying off debt).

This shaming slowly leads to self hatred. Not necessarily hatred of myself, but hatred of particular qualities, tendencies, or attributes I have or may not have.

Over the past few weeks, I have been a part of a “Mindfulness and Mediation” class. During this past week’s topic, “Easing Up On Yourself,” we dealt a lot about self shame. I can relate. The instructor said something that I found to be very powerful (especially for a seasoned Self Shamer), “Do not change [yourself] out of self hatred. Change [yourself] out of love.”

This statement resonated with me.

One of the largest changes in my life recently was my recent weight loss (and muscle gain). When I think back to my first post, Operation Love Handle, I think about why I decided to take that journey…

I started Operation Love Handle for three reasons:

  1. Change my life (be healthy to live a long, healthy life)
  2. Change my mind (still working on that…)
  3. Change my body (shed the weight I gained when I was unhappy; build muscle and become strong)

These reasons were not because I hated the way my body looked. The only thing I really didn’t like was that my arms were not toned. And the only reason it bothered me was because I couldn’t do a push-up.

I started Operation Love Handle out of love for myself rather than hatred. So this is what I am thinking: I need to de-shame my shaming thoughts. In the areas of my life I’d like to improve, I have to start loving the way they are before I can change them.

Instead of:

“I shame myself for making a mistake at work – even though I knew better. DOUBLE SHAME.”

How about:

I love my job and I work really hard everyday. I put my best foot forward although I am not always successful. I will have good days and bad days, but the bad days will help me become better at my job.

Or another,

Instead of:

“I shame myself for being tired after a night of fun (of going out with friends and spending money). DOUBLE SHAME.”

How about:

I am really, really, really grateful I have friends. I’m feeling stressed about money, so I will invite them over more to cut costs.

Some shames are much easier than others to re-frame. I honestly can’t re-frame all the shames from my list, but I promise to work on it. I’m hoping to see an improvement in my Self Shaming tendencies. I have a feeling it won’t happen overnight. 🙂

_____________________________________

Will you join me? What do you shame yourself for?

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Filed under Life, Self, Things I've learned

28 things I learned in my 28th year

Today I am 28 years old. 🙂 Here are 28 things I learned in this past year.

  1. I love going to plays. I saw two plays (Good People and The Brother’s Size) this year, and I was moved to tears by both. I can’t wait to see the next one!
  2. I enjoy TV shows that have one word titles; “Revenge”, “Deception”, “Nashville”, “Survivor”, “Scandal”, “Chicago Fire”… oh wait. Never mind.
  3. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Tahn at her first (second round) of Puppy Class

    Tahn, at her first (second  time around) Puppy Class

  4. I hate living in a messy bedroom and a messy house. (Also: I hate all the clutter and stuff I have. I am in the process of getting rid of many things. DVDs and old Coach purses, anyone?)
  5. I like driving with my windows down.
  6. I need to do yoga weekly. With or without a studio.
  7. I shouldn’t wait until I make more money to start saving money. I am learning to make better (small) financial choices daily.
  8. I did find an exercise that I love.
  9. Meditation only helps with stress if you practice it daily. Meditation doesn’t help when you’re remarkably stressed or upset.
  10. Being honest and telling the truth continues to be the best and most challenging decision I’ve ever made in my life.
  11. Eating well daily and consistently keeping active will help you lose (and keep off) weight.
  12. I like thriller novels. (Just like my grandma).
  13. Being single is really fantastic. I have embraced my singleness this year (after the dramatic failure of an attempted relationship) and I am much, much happier single.
  14. I was born a leader. And I become a better leader everyday.
  15. Making time for myself has a paramount affect on my happiness spectrum.
  16. I actually do like going out. As a self-proclaimed home-body, I have found friends whom like doing what I like to do – happy hours!  (and other things). I love it.photo(37)photo(36)photo(38)
  17. Acts of kindness from strangers are some of the best experiences you’ll ever have.
  18. While making friends can be challenging, once you find them, they bless your life in more ways then you could ever imagine.
  19. San Diego is one of the best places to live. (My sister was right).
  20. Doing the right thing and treating others with respect doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have conflict in your life. In fact, there is no protection at all. Sometimes, you do the right thing and get burned. Don’t be deferred. Do the right thing.
  21. Although I value the opinions of those who I care most about, their opinions are just that – opinions. I am the person who has to live with my daily choices and life. My opinion is the only one that matters.
  22. Having a nephew is great. Having a niece and a nephew is really fantastic.
  23. Tahn LOVES a routine.
  24. The difference a year makes. I am in such a better place then I was a year ago. And a year before that. Aging is awesome!
  25. I need to learn how to speak slower. For real.
  26. Non-judging is key to my happiness.
  27. Kitchen appliances, although they take up space, can be very useful for healthy cooking. (A food processor and blender are on the top of the list, not far down is a rice cooker). (Also: I am my father’s child).
  28. My mom and dad really, truly love me with all of their hearts. (It’s not that I didn’t know this, but this year I was overwhelmed by their love for me on many occasions. I went home a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the one thing I took away from that weekend was that my parents just love me. It is one of the best feelings in the world).
    photo(36)

    My mom and me.

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Exercise, Family, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Love, Tahnee, Things I love, Things I've learned

white trucks, cleaning out closets, and consequences to everything

White pick-up trucks have a visceral affect on me.

White, Ford Ranger, pick-up trucks, specifically.

Previously, the affect was joy-filling excitement.

Currently, the affect is gut-wrenching painful.

The white truck knocks that box of sorrow off the shelf I so neatly tucked away a few weeks ago and throws its wide open, spilling it’s contents everywhere.

I stand there looking at the contents of the box, saying, “You again? Really!?”

But that’s the way it goes I guess. That’s the thing about things. Sometimes when you think you’re over something, (or maybe desperately trying to be over it) certain triggers pull you right back and make you dealwithitnow.

Consequently, this is what I will do.

______

This past weekend, Tahn and I traveled home to the Bay Area to see Buddy and my newest love, Lily (my brand new niece. And no, Lily’s not her real name).

On this trip home, I decided to clean out the closet of the my previous bedroom at my Dad’s house. The closet that hadn’t been touched close to the 10 years since I lived there.

Hello dust.

Hello old memories.

Hello junk.

Hello whydidIeverkeepthis?

It was overall good, cathartic and slightly odd. I threw away/gave away/ recycled most of everything save a few boxes of photos and cards from my grandma. And of course, a Justin Timberlake doll.

Old habits.

______

During our stay home, Tahn happily found herself at her grandpa’s. Like old times, he had her water bowl and bed out for her to feel right at home.

Over the weekend, my dad would occasionally leave Tahn alone.

Yesterday, after I returned home, my dad called to tell me a story.

My dad is in the process of putting new doors on his kitchen cabinets. Therefor, his cabinets and all such contents are exposed and open.

On Tuesday, he found a Brillo pad (which is usually kept under the kitchen sink) in the cabinet under the stove.

When he told me this story, he indicated this was a sign of protest by Tahn; she did not appreciate being left alone.

My response?

There are always consequences for your behavior.

😉

______

What are your current triggers? (Positive or Negative)

Do you have any plans for Spring Cleaning?

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Life, Stories, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Non-Judging in the New Year

be curious not judgmental

2012 brought big changes both physically and professionally for me. As the new year began, I knew two things for sure:

  1. I needed to change the way I took care of my body
  2. I needed to change the place of my employment

To make a very long and boring story short, I quickly realized in January of 2012 (and started to panic in the beginning of February 2012) that the job I moved to San Diego for was not a place I could continue to work.

I made the big, scary decision to leave that job and move on to a completely different job, working for a huge company, and learning a new business.

The transition was easy enough; except for a few hiccups here and there I was relatively pleased.

I spent most of the summer working and trying to enjoy San Diego. However, in this whirlwind of work and play, I soon found myself in a situation in which my personal and professional lives collided.

In fact, it was more like a crash.

As I scurried around trying to pick up the pieces, heal my spirit and move on, I kept being pulled back into the pain, sorrow and heartache of it all.

I  judged myself for making the poor choices that led to this crash.

Over the course of four months, I spent most of my days off in excruciating emotional pain. During my time alone, I would replay the decisions, actions and fallacies I made; judging myself more and more each week. In the quiet of these days, I found myself drowning of the sadness of the situation. I could not go back and change anything.

In addition to my own self-deprecation, I allowed the judgements of others to redefine how I saw myself.

During this painful realization, I had an even more painful self-discovery:

I judge others just as much as I judge myself.

Ironically, the pain of my personal and professional lives meeting was created entirely on others perceptions of me. The two colliding didn’t negatively affect my job (or future career) itself. It did effect the opinions my colleagues and staff had of me.

My pain was solely from the thoughts of others and myself.

This got me thinking, what is the point of all of this? Were the judgements of my colleagues (and most importantly, myself) true? No. Not at all.

What was the point of all the judgment?

I took  a step back from my larger-then-life pity party and started observing all of my daily thoughts, primarily mean and judgmental thoughts of others.

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t pretty to see myself jump to mean thoughts when someone did or said something I didn’t like. I found myself realizing I couldn’t be upset with those who thought bad thoughts of me; I did it all the time.

As 2012 ended and 2013 began, I found myself thinking a lot about changing my negative knee-jerk reactions to thoughts of compassion, acceptance, and grace. To stop the thoughts by no longer giving them power.

So, in 2013, in addition to continuing to take care of my body, I will start to take care of my thoughts. Thoughts about others, and most importantly, thoughts about myself.

(This post was inspired by Amber’s post at http://pandaamber.com/)

Image source: We Heart It

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Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Life, Things I've learned

Operation Love Handle – An Update

Just under 15 months ago, I wrote a blog post, “Operation Love Handle“, in which I discussed my Love Handles and how they represented all of the struggle and unhappiness I had been dealing with for the previous 3 years. I discussed changes I was going to make, (including eating only until I was full, and finding new activities) and I discussed how I wasn’t going to focus on losing weight, I was going to focus on being more active, more fit, and more happy.

Well, guys, I’m happy to say, I did it. Not only did I lose weight, but I am much more happy, fit and active.

From January 2012 to January 2013, I’ve lost 25lbs.

January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

January 9, 2013

January 9, 2013

My goal really was just to lose the 15lbs I had gained over the years. I didn’t think that all of the changes I made in my life would lead to such a large weight loss. But, I’m sure happy it did!

If you compare the two photos, taken close to one year apart, you will notice a few things. Besides a cute new hair cut and new cell phone case (and new bathroom; I’ve moved), you will also notice that I am toned. I didn’t just lose weight. I became strong. I developed arm and core muscles. It’s the first time in my life I’ve had arm and core strength.

What I did:

  1. I changed my diet. Permanently.
  2. I started a new workout I love and did it a minimum of 3 days a week (but usually 5) for 6 months straight.
  3. I started a new job where I walked 7-12 miles a day. (And, if you ask anyone I work with, they would tell you I walk quickly).

And that’s it. I started moving more and sitting less.

I didn’t notice any results for months. After all, I gave up eating meat and officially started my diet in October 2011, but didn’t start seeing changes until I ate well and exercised. I started The Bar Method at the end of January 2012 and it wasn’t until the end of March 2012 that I started seeing a small result.

Then, I started a new job (and all the walking) in April 2012, and by August 2012, I really started seeing the weight shed off.

It has been a journey, to say the least. I was challenged by my new workout, new schedule, and lack of free time that came with my new life. It wasn’t easy; it wasn’t easy working out for close to two months with very little results. But, I knew my body and I knew I had to be patient, keep working, and I would see results. And once I did, it was very exciting!

My brother taught me in high school that success breeds success. I found this to be very true this past year. Once I started to feel successful and stronger during my workouts, it lead to me feeling accomplished and more confident. My confidence gave me the courage to step out of my comfort box and make friends, try new activities, and allow myself to enjoy my life more. I then started losing weight, and I felt even more confident about myself and my professional goals.

Don’t be disillusioned, though. 2012 was not an easy year for me. In some ways, it was the most challenging year I’ve ever had professionally and personally. But, through my highs and (sometimes) low lows, I stuck to my diet and exercise; they were my anchors when the world around me was chaos. For the first time in my life I found comfort and solace in exercising. I used to be that girl that would roll her eyes when people would gloat about how important exercise and eating right is for their well-being.

Now?

I’ve an avid believer.

This year, I have two life changes I am making. (I’ll discuss it in a future post).

Until then? I’m enjoying my new body, my gained confidence, and my renewed belief in myself.

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Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Life

Learning to Find Time

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been losing my time. My self.

At the start of my First Summer in San Diego, I had two goals:

1. Have fun.

2. Make money.

And I did. Lots. Of both. I took a second job at my beloved Bar Method Studio, and jumped from weekend to weekend – working, entertaining (beloved) visitors,

attending very wonderful friends’ weddings,

attending AWESOME sporting events,

and meeting real life race horses up close and personal.

My summer? It was fantastic. My only regret? Not learning to surf.

But here’s the thing: from working two jobs, never having a day off, and continuous fun, I somehow lost a sense of me. I lost the time I used to spent doing things I liked – things I needed – to be a happy person.

I stopped writing. And blogging.

I got involved in a messy, toxic relationship – one I’m still dealing with the residual pain and nonsense.

I stopped walking Tahn. This summer? From my busy lifestyle, and my very physical full-time job, and the Bar Method, I got in the best shape of my life. My dog? Gained weight. Gained 12 pounds.

I lost time for myself.

It wasn’t until the excitement of the Summer passed, and leaving my second job did I realize how unhappy I was.

It wasn’t until I took my days off – to cook, to clean, to read, to walk Tahn, to sleep, did I realize how unbalanced my life had become.

It wasn’t until recently – almost 3 months after the CrazyFunSummer did I have the urge to write – to blog.

I’ve been reading a few books – books on how to simplify your life, your thoughts, your self. Recently, I read this from one of my absolute favs, Anne Lamott.

I hope you click over and read the fantastic article. But, if not, here is a quote, summing up what I’ve been working towards/thinking about/ attempting lately:

“I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day”. – Anne Lamott in Sunset Magazine

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Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Friends, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Money, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

The Worst Part of the Day

For reasons I won’t bore you with, I’ve been spending a lot of time home, not at work.  I’ve been home for the past three weeks, reading, cleaning, exercising, organizing and reading again. I’ve kept away from the TV because I find it just makes me want to nap. So instead of napping I’ve read 5 books, donated old clothing, and really organized my life. It’s been productive.

And since I’ve been home most of the day, I’ve been spending almost all of my time with the dogs – Tahnee (of course) and Maya (my roommate’s dog). And since the dogs are both Labradors, they follow me everywhere all the time.

The dogs have greatly bonded to me in these past few weeks; I am their alpha, their everything. Whenever I leave, they sulk and pout and are pitiful. This is a drastic difference from a few weeks ago when I would just get sad eyes. Now every time I leave they ache devastation, unsure of what to do or where to go.

I suspect they just sleep.

I leave at least once everyday – if not to exercise, but to also run errands. Each time worst than the next, each time they are more helpless and forlorn. It is the worst part of their day

I, on the other hand, leave them with no guilt. And for this I believe I am punished.

Everyday, around 3pm it starts.

Tahn will suddenly sit, staring at me.

Maya gets up and paces a bit.

I ignore them at first. “No eye contact” I tell myself.

Tahn’s piercing black eyes start working their way into my soul.

When I cannot take it anymore I tell them both to lie down.

They do. We have peace.

Until 3:30pm.

Tahn is up again, beady eyes on me.

Maya may bark once or twice.

Now I’m getting mad. “No!” I shout. “Not yet.” I scold.

They huff and puff  and lie down.

By 4pm, it gets really bad. (Like yesterday).

They no longer hear anything I say.

They double-team me.

Tahn pokes me with her cold nose and gives me the stare of death.

Maya goes from a high-pitched whine to a full bark attack.

I get incredibly angry. “NO! BAD DOGS!” I yell.

Tahn stares and pokes and Maya barks.

I consider putting them in the backyard and then remember Maya will bark even more and Tahn will eat sticks.

I consider putting them in their respective rooms and then remember Maya will destroy my roommate’s things in anger and Tahn will lie on my bed and pull back the covers and put her head on my pillow.

I scold them once more, really being firm. They coil in sadness.

I can almost hear them talking to each other, “Gosh, she didn’t have to be so mean, Tahn,”

“I know, Maya.”

At 4:30pm on the dot, the dogs are fed and the worst part of my day is over.

Today I’ll be at a coffee shop from 2:30pm to 5pm if anyone needs me.

Pouty Dogs

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Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Life, Tahnee

28 in year 28

Recently, I turned 27. I had one of the best birthdays I’ve had in my twenties. In San Diego, I had a dinner with close friends – a night of laughing, listening and unconditional love. Last weekend, I traveled to the Bay Area and had an incredible family dinner and birthday cake made my brother and S2. My family came together over this superb meal, and I felt completely loved.

As my brother and S2 remind me every year, I am 27 years-old, starting my 28th year of life. (Right?! Just when you become okay with your age, you gain another year!)

Inspired by many fellow blogger’s life lists, and particularly Drea’s 30 by 30, and Tami’s 43 by 43 here are 28 things I want to do in my 28th year.

  1. Learn how to surf.
  2. Read 28 books.
  3. Save 10% of my monthly paycheck.
  4. Do 10 real push-ups.
  5. Listen to live music at least once a month.
  6. Start a garden in my backyard.
  7. Take Tahn to the beach twice a month (except when it’s closed for the summer).
  8. Create scrapbooks of all the cards from my grandma.
  9. Find a yoga studio in the San Diego area that teaches Yin Yoga; attend class twice a month.
  10. Go to a roller derby match.
  11. Visit 3 museums in San Diego.
  12. Enter two writing contests.
  13. Write a letter a week.
  14. Hold a plank for 60 seconds.
  15. Walk Tahn 5 days a week.
  16. Become CPR certified.
  17. Hike once a month.
  18. Bake an Angel Food Cake from scratch.
  19. Help my mom learn to use her iPod.
  20. Clear out all the boxes of stuff from my dad’s house.
  21. Play in the beach with Buddy.
  22. Learn to French Braid my hair.
  23. Find a volunteer job that I really love.
  24. Host a brunch.
  25. Join a wine club.
  26. Start collecting wall art.
  27. Watch a foreign film.
  28. Stop using paper towels.

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Food!, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply