I miss summer reading lists. I always treated them as some sort of challenge – read two books from this list, one from that…. forget that – I’ll read five or six from each! I loved receiving a definitive guide of books that were worth reading while in the car on the way to the beach, on the beach, in the breakfast nook of my grandparents’ house near the beach (when I was meant to be socializing, mind you), etc.

I acutely remember the pain I felt while being forced to refrain from reading the new Harry Potter installment on several occasions, and only wish that I could find a book that could make me feel that way – like I had to devour it whole… or else. I feel like all HP fanatics have been searching for that next book or series of books for years now, but none come close to comparing… but I digress.

Sadly, my life is pretty much devoid of beaches and beach vacations this summer, as well as reading lists prettily packaged with a bow on top now that I’m an “adult”. However, I recognize that my love of summer reading was the challenge, and the list that was written to be conquered. So… I am writing my own summer reading list this year, covering both fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Some are brand new books, others are ones that I read in school that are in need of a revisit.

What are your recommendations for a great summer read?






So remember when I said I’d actually keep up with posting here because my life was going to be interesting and full of cool travels? Yeah, that didn’t quite happen. What’s funny about having cool travel opportunities for work is that it’s still work so there’s always so much to do. Who knew?! That’s not much of a revelation, but what is is how much you can fit into just a few hours in a city.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been to San Francisco twice before – once for work, and once for an interview – and that’s it. Aside from going to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the sea lions (both times – I’m a shameless animal lover) and getting an up-close view of the Golden Gate Bridge on a catamaran, I hadn’t seen many of SF’s iconic sights. When I had about 6-7 hours to kill on a Saturday following a couple days in SF for meetings, I thought I’d create my own very brief tour of San Francisco. I knew of a few places that I felt were must see tourist spots, but I also took to Instagram to scope out where to eat and take a few pictures. Looking through local hashtags is one of my favorite ways to find some hidden gems in a new city. Touristy photo ops are great, but it needs to be balanced with some truly local flavor.

I woke up relatively early, for me at least, at 8am and headed out for my day of fun. I had found Mr. Holmes Bakeshop on Instagram while trying to find some fancy doughnuts, and I ended up getting so much more than that here. I walked a little over a mile from my hotel, most of which was slightly uphill, so by the time I arrived at the bakery I was ready for some breakfast. This is one of those spots where you know it’s going to be good because there is a literal line around the block of people waiting to get their hands on something delicious. In this case it was Cruffins – the cronut’s muffin cousin – but sadly, I missed trying one by only a few people. Not all was lost though, I ended up with the most delicious cookie dough stuffed bear claw. I also met this cute pup while waiting in line. I think his face summed up everyone’s mood in that line – how could you not be a level 12/10 on the excitement scale when there are so many delicious things in front of you. So glad that I got baked (goods) in San Francisco.



After devouring my bear claw, I called a car to take me to the Painted Ladies – the victorian buildings best known for their cameo in the Full House theme song. Sadly, Alamo square, the park where the Tanners enjoyed a lovely picnic, was closed for renovations/landscaping, though. Despite that, I loved walking around the neighborhood to see all of the painted ladies in their glory. The painted ladies are all Victorian era houses painted in three or more colors that help to showcase the intricate architectural details that were popular at that time. I could have happily moved into any of them.

From there, I made my way to the Palace of Fine Arts. This may seem like a weird connection, but as a kid I studied Latin in school and became a huge fan of Roman history. I’ve always wanted to go to the Palace of Fine Arts because its architecture evokes the same look and feel of some of the Roman Ruins I saw in Rome and Pompeii years ago. I felt transported back to those places as I strolled around the lagoon and in the rotunda, even though I was still very much in California. Beyond the overall vibes the architecture gave, my favorite part was the symmetry of the rotunda in particular. I stood right in the center of it just looking up in awe of how beautiful it was. I probably looked quite silly, but I didn’t really care.

Next I looked on Instagram for a cool place to take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, as I knew it was nearby. I ended up picking Crissy Field Beach, mainly because it featured a dog park! If I’m an animal lover, then that would make me a fanatic about dogs (my dog in particular). They’re really the best. I walked down the beach and got closer to the bridge, and conveniently closer to the dogs. It was a super sunny day, so I picked a log to sit on for a while to soak up the sun, read, and enjoy watching people and their dogs go by. I laughed for ages at this one dog that seemed to just be yelling at the Bay by running up and down the beach barking its head off. You might have had to be there, though, because that actually sounds super lame written down…

Feeling on the verge of getting a sunburn (thanks dark Seattle winter), I decided to find a spot to have a proper meal. Presidio Social Club was nearby and apparently had a great brunch. I made a reservation and hopped in a car to get over there. Upon arriving and announcing that yes, I had intended to reserve a table for one person, the hostess game me such a pitying look and I had to explain that I was in town for business and didn’t have friends nearby. I know she meant well, and I truly don’t mind doing things on my own, but man – I felt pretty lame for a moment there. I felt much better when I was sat under an umbrella on the patio with a mimosa in one hand and my kindle in the other. I snacked on some oysters, which were ironically from the Puget sound, and some of the most delicious parmesan truffle fries.

Stuffed, I left and made my way back downtown to go to the Ferry Building. I had plans to go get a scoop of ice cream from Humphrey Slocombe, but I was still too full to even think of desert by the time I got there (whomp whomp), but ended up with the most delicious almond milk cappuccino from Blue Bottle instead.

At this point, I was getting pretty tired from lugging my bag around and I still wanted to go shopping for a bit to see if I could find a dress to wear in my friend’s wedding this summer. I always seem to end up in the Westfield Mall in SF right before hopping on a flight. This has been the case each of the three times I’ve visited the city so far. I didn’t end up with a bridesmaid’s dress, but I did find a great pair of destroyed jeans, and felt ready to head over the the airport. I had plans to get there early, sit and drink wine while finishing up my book. However, the terminal I was in had exactly one restaurant and it was a packed sports bar. Luckily, I put myself on standby for a flight leaving to Seattle, and was able to get on just in the nick of time. I think I spent maybe 20 minutes at SFO between getting out of the Uber and getting on to the plane. I was tired from a long day of sight seeing and ready to go home and pick up Brodie.

Short trips like this are super fun because they force you to be really active and make the most of your time. I love the feeling of accomplishment you get by ticking multiple places/experiences off your list in quick succession. However, I need to try my hand at more relaxed vacationing. I have SO MUCH vacation time I need to take this year (Hi, I’m Alli, and I’m a work freak who fears taking time off…). Where should I go to kick my feet up and relax? Thoughts?


The last few weeks have been packed with travel, including trips to San Francisco and San Diego, so I thankfully have had some time to sit down and really enjoy reading. Reading is one of my favorite things to do on trips – even business trips – as I don’t count on airplane wifi to be anything but abysmal even before trying to VPN into my corporate network. Outside of my trips, I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time to read this month, so this list is pretty short and was all read in the past two weeks. Thanks to Krista at Covering the Bases for the inspiration (read: reminder) to write this post!

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

I decided to pick this book up after seeing it in Zoe Sugg’s book club list last summer. I read a couple of the other books from her selection, and enjoyed how light and entertaining they were and thought this would be the same. I also wanted to make sure that I read this prior to the upcoming movie adaptation as well, because I tend to be one of those kind of people who like to compare movies to the books they were based upon. Aside from the fact that this was well reviewed and well liked enough to merit a movie adaptation, I didn’t know much about the plot when I turned the first page. Similar to books like “We Were Liars” I think this is the best approach, so I won’t go into too much detail. I enjoyed this read and read it in just over two hours in one sitting. Take that as my review and run with it.

Worth the Wait by Jamie Beck

I mentioned in an earlier post how much I enjoy the idea of Kindle Unlimited. Why wouldn’t a voracious reader like a service that allows unlimited reading for a few dollars a month? Well – in theory that is true, but in practice, a lot of the books that are offered as part of the program are a little ridiculous. I’d be lying if I said I never read a free book that was about Scottish time traveling witches (true story, it was so bad that I can’t even name the book), but every once and a while you run across a good read that just happened to be free. This is the case with “Worth the Wait.” Am I smarter for having read this book? Nope. Did I feel transported to Block Island in the summer time? Yep, absolutely. I loved how this book made me feel as if I were also on summer vacation with the St. James family. It reminded me of childhood summers in Martha’s Vineyard, and I can’t complain about that as it continues to drizzle here in Seattle until June. This was a fun read, that is super similar in feeling to Emily Giffin’s “Something Borrowed”, which made it even more enjoyable and helped me to further pretend to be at the beach and not freezing cold in the Pacific Northwest.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Speaking of movie adaptations, this will make the best rom com we’ve seen in a while if it is made into a movie. As a woman who has had a crush on at least a couple of male coworkers, I could totally relate to Lucy Hutton as she slowly realized her feelings for her arch nemesis coworker, Josh. There’s something super fun about having a crush at work, and it was really entertaining to relive those feelings while reading this book. I’m not going to say that I didn’t find Lucy a bit childish throughout the story – Smurf collections? Constant (literal) games? But I’m also not going to say that we don’t all have our quirks either. I will say however that I found myself awake finishing this book at 2am on a work trip after having been up for a grand total of 22 hours straight. Thorne did such a great job of building that “will they/won’t they?” tension that I couldn’t put this book down.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

It’s 2011. I’m skipping class. I’m sitting in a twin bed in my studio apartment in Lugano, Switzerland in my pajamas. I’m live streaming the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Fairy tales exist. Prince charming is real. Dreams do come true. I decide to get my hair cut like Kate Middleton. I wonder why I didn’t study abroad at St. Andrews…

This book brought me back to that moment. If you know me even a little, you’ll probably know that I’m a little bit in love with all things British. So a novel about an American exchange student falling in love with the heir to the throne while at Oxford, that was loosely based on the real life romance of Will and Kate, is obviously right up my street. I may have read this book while sitting on a beach in San Diego, but I felt as if I were in Oxford with these characters. This month’s book theme must have been “novels that could be a rom com someday” and this one definitely fits that bill. I loved the main characters, but its supporting cast really made the story. Similar to the friends in “Notting Hill” or “Bridget Jones’ Diary” the friends of the main characters added a lot of depth to the story without adding too much fluff. I highly recommend this novel if you’re looking for a bit of escapism in the form of a modern day fairytale.

Currently Reading: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I really haven’t had a chance to start this one yet, but it is next up on my Kindle. I’ll let you know how I get on with it next month! What other books do you have to recommend?



This week I’m jetting off to San Francisco for a quick work trip. I can’t wait to go meet with co-workers that I hardly ever see, and will be heading straight from the airport to the office as a result. I am super into the idea of bringing only a carry on (or two), in order to decrease the amount of time I have to spend at the airport both before and after my flight. I really don’t have the time to get to the airport early just to check a bag – this time around I’ll have to leave my house at like 5am to drop the pup off at boarding, prior to making my way over to the airport for a 7am flight. Morning struggle, I’ll see you on Thursday.


The Bags

I am in. love. with my AWAY carry on and my Lo. & Sons OG weekender. The combination of the two bags allows me to pack for well over a long weekend, and provides plenty of room for me to tote all my work stuff along with me.


The OG

This would be considered my personal item, though I could probably pack for a three day trip in this bag alone. While it has Mary Poppins like qualities, it is small enough to fit under the seat on the plane and still allows for plenty of room for my feet to stretch out. I like to keep all the things I’ll need during the flight in this bag, which may or may not include my computer if I’m planning on getting WiFi or not. If not, then I’d rather keep it overhead. Other things that I’ll keep in this bag include: wallet, phone, keys, headphones, kindle, a sweater or scarf, and my toiletries/makeup bag.

I just got the Bose QC30 in ear bluetooth headphones and can’t wait to see how they do on a flight. As I’m writing this, they are canceling out the noise of Brodie chewing on his bone, so I’ll give them a thumbs up already.

I also love to travel with my Kindle. Most of the time, trying to use my laptop on the plane results in me feeling like I’m invading my neighbors’ space with my elbows as I type. Thus, a Kindle is a perfect way to pass the time in the sky. I devour books, often like potato chips, so Kindle Unlimited is a lifesaver. I love that I can read as many books as I want, and don’t feel like I’m breaking the bank. Quite a few best sellers and popular books aren’t included, but that’s okay.

In my toiletries bag I always keep makeup wipes, face lotion and lip balm. I don’t really like flying with makeup on – the plane air turns my skin into a dry and flaky, yet greasy and shiny mess – so keeping my face clean and hydrated is a must, even on short flights. Before landing, I’ll wipe down my face, moisturize, and then go about putting on some makeup. This is especially important on early morning flights like the one I’m taking this week, where I’ll need to go straight from the plane to the office.

I love that this bag easily transitions from a carry on to a work/laptop bag. I never know what my seating situation will be as I arrive in new offices, so it’s good to have all the essentials for the day in one place.


The Away Carry On – 

What I keep in my carry on suitcase is pretty self explanatory – clothes and odds and ends I won’t need in flight. Since I’m bringing everything along with me, I also don’t feel nervous about keeping some of my valuables in my suitcase. I will likely put my jewelry, camera, and lenses in this bag, tucked snug in some sweaters, as the hard sides and built in lock of the suitcase will keep it protected. I also won’t need to use the camera in flight, either, so there’s no need for it in my other bag.

As far as clothes go, I am a big fan of rolling clothes and packing cubes. I’ll roll up outfits and place each in a packing cube to keep things organized. My favorite feature of the Away Carry On is the compression panel on the right hand side. Unlike my previous suitcases, the compression panel actually compresses your clothes. I can fit an entire week and a half’s worth of clothes in just the one side of the case thanks to that panel! Earlier today my colleagues balked at the news that I would not be checking a bag on an upcoming 5 day trip, but I know that it’s easily doable in this bag.

I’ll also keep my cords and chargers in this bag (with exception of my iPhone cord). Even though the Away carry on features its own battery for charing small electronics, I always pack an external battery for while I’m out and about on my trips… You never want to find yourself in a photo op but without phone battery to post on Instagram or Snapchat! Other cords I’ll need are my camera charger and of course, my laptop charger as this is a business trip.

This bag also includes some seriously heavy duty spinner wheels that can take bumpy walkways, but most importantly have withstood even a few collie nibbles. While it can pack quite a lot inside, it’s sadly still too small for Brodie to stow away in (though he tries)!


I definitely have been feeling the travel bug recently. For Christmas, I was so excited to receive an AWAY carry on suitcase, and a Lo&Sons carry on bag… Now I can’t wait to put them to good use. Here are a few of the destinations I already have planned, and an incomplete list of where all I’d like to go this year. 🙂



San Francisco, CA –

Okay, so I am trying to parlay a work trip into a long weekend in San Francisco/Northern California. I actually have a few places I’d like to go in this region – Napa, Monterrey, Big Sur, Yosemite National Park… the list could go on. I also want to try to snag tickets to see Hamilton in San Francisco, so that may be a trip as well so I can be “in the room where it happens”. I have one trip planned next week, and hope to spend my Saturday taking photos and shopping for a bridesmaids dress for my friend’s wedding in July.


San Diego, CA –

I had drafted this post a while ago, and knew that I would be going to San Diego at some point early this year. However, I didn’t know it would happen quite so soon! I had a last minute trip to San Diego for work, and spent the weekend chasing sunshine and shorelines in Coronado and La Jolla. I’ll be going back down there soon, so I can’t wait to explore Balboa Park, Old Town, and maybe go out on a yacht to whale watch! I’m going down in early March and plan on spending my down-time in the sun on a sandy beach at the very least.


Washington, DC – 

I’ll be in DC this spring for my Grandfather’s Funeral. He was in the Air Force in World War II, and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. While the reason for going is quite somber, I am very proud of my Grandfather’s service during the war, and am glad that I will be there to honor his life with the rest of my family. I was last in DC in high school for a future lawyers summit (lol), and as it has been quite some time, I’m hoping to visit some of the museums and monuments whist I am there.


Austin, TX

One of my best friends is getting married in July, and I will be in her wedding as a bridesmaid! This is actually my first time being in a wedding, and I cannot wait for all of the festivities to begin. I moved to Seattle from Austin two and a half years ago (!) and have been back only three times since. This year, I’ll be going back for a weekend spend wine tasting in the Hill Country for the bachelorette party, and then again for the wedding itself. I can’t wait to see my friends and see how much the city has changed. I’ll also be a red-eye flight pro by the time this is all said and done. The flight schedule between Seattle and Austin is seriously lacking… but it will be so worth it! 🙂


International Trips

Banff, Alberta, Canada – 

I think a road trip from Seattle to Banff this summer would be fabulous. I have had several friends go, and would love to bask in the beauty of Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau. It’s about an 8 hour drive, so it would be great to stop somewhere along the way, too. IF I go on this trip, I’ll need to find dog friendly options, as I think it would be awesome to bring Brodie with me. His instagram game will be so strong. More research is needed…


Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (again) – 

I went to Victoria for a day trip with my Mom on one of my first trips to Seattle, and LOVED it. However, we spent a lot of time allowing me to photograph/admire harbour seals for hours. I would really like to visit the Butchart Gardens and spend the day photographing/admiring flowers instead. The Victoria Clipper high-speed ferry makes this a super easy day trip from Seattle’s waterfront.


Australia – 

This one is totally dependent on work things, but there is a possibility that I will be able to go to Australia for a second time. Last year I went to Melbourne for a week long business trip, and sadly didn’t carve out much time to explore. While my reasons at the time were totally valid, this time around I’ll want to extend my trip by a bit in order to see either more of Australia or New Zealand, or Fiji…? The possibilities are endless. I loved what I saw in Melbourne last year. I’ll need to do a post about that trip, as I surprisingly didn’t do much with any of the photos I shot due to work and life craziness at the time.


Scottish Highlands –

I read that Scotland is a great place for solo travel, but if I’m being honest, the scenery and cinematography of the show “Outlander” was really all I needed to convince me that Scotland needs to be on the top of my list. I love driving and taking trips on the the open road at home, and I’d love to see Scotland and its castles, lochs, and mountains by car in the fall this year. I have a few friends who have been recently, and have had only the best things to say about their time in Edinburgh. While I’m there, I’d like to explore the city, learn about the history of the highlands, take copious photos of landscapes,


Iceland –

Who wouldn’t want to go on a trip to sit in a hot spring under the beauty of the northern lights? Sounds pretty ideal to me. Add in the panoramic beauty of glaciers, mountains, and fields dotted with Icelandic Horses, and I’m all set for things that I want to see, photograph, and commit to memory. Flights to Reykjavik from Seattle aren’t really all that expensive on Iceland Air, and they have a program where you can extend your layover in Iceland on your way to/from Europe. The idea of a two-fer on my UK trip sounds like a great idea.




I, like so many others, love avocado. On toast, on chips, in sushi, on any type of taco imaginable, alone with a pinch of Tajín… you get it. I very clearly remember my first experience with an avocado. I was about 6, and wondered how a fruit could be green and not even sweet. To say I was perplexed by this contradiction was an understatement. This skepticism lasted throughout my early years, but when I finally did give those little green fruits a chance, it was love at first bite.


In addition to being delicious, and a versatile food appropriate for any dish, avocado is amazing for you. It is a healthy source of fat, is a solid source of fiber, and has even more potassium than a banana. I love to keep these in my kitchen whenever possible.


However, living on my own, I find that I often miss that perfect window of opportunity to catch my avocados at their ripest, ripe-but-not-too-ripe, state. Or I’ll buy avocados and just get too many, and can’t eat them all before they turn to brown mush.


I’ve done some research, and can’t wait to try freezing avocados. Yes, it is possible. Here’s a quick how to, and some tips that I will be trying as I try to save the ‘cado.


  • Before freezing, wash the outside of the avocado and thoroughly dry.
  • You can freeze your avocados in two ways:
    • Cut the avocado in half, drizzle on some lemon or lime juice to prevent browning, and place each half in a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible.
    • Pureé the avocado as if you were making guacamole, or in a food processor for a smoother consistency. Mix in some lemon or lime juice to prevent browning, and distribute the mashed avocado into portion sized, freezer safe containers.
  • To thaw your avocados, place the frozen fruit in the refrigerator overnight, or for about 6 hours.

No matter which method you choose, you’ll want to eat the thawed avocado shortly thereafter, so have your toast or tortilla chips ready! ¡Buen provecho!



Last weekend I spent some time in San Diego following a quick trip for work. After spending my Saturday in Coronado, pretending to stay at The Del, I had a few hours to kill on Sunday prior to heading to the airport for a late afternoon flight. My hotel was in La Jolla, so I thought I’d take a quick Uber trip to La Jolla Village and La Jolla Cove.

I had a quick lunch at Duke’s, and followed that up with a stroll along La Jolla cove to walk off all of that seafood. I am a huge animal lover, so imagine my delight upon discovering that there were sea lions, seals, and birds everywhere. The sea lions were not at all bothered by the paparazzi line of fellow tourists ogling them and taking pictures. Every time I’ve seen sea lions in my travels, I can’t help but take a moment and just watch them laze about. They remind me so much of my dog! It cracks me up that they love to sunbathe, and don’t like being disturbed while napping (like my parents’ dog). I was so happy to get to see not one, but two pups hanging out with the rest of the adults. I’d like to think that the pup highlighted below was having a good snuggle with its dad.


I kept walking along the coast and came to Children’s Cove, where a bunch of seals were sunning themselves on a sandy beach. There is a long sea wall that curves to create the cove, and the waves kept crashing hard enough to soak whoever stood on the end of the wall. It made for some great photos 🙂



This little guy came and landed on this lifeguard box, and seemed to be keeping an eye on the beaches below. While he took his job seriously, I can’t say that I trust a seagull to keep everyone safe.



About a mile and a half down from where I started, the shoreline opened up into a mixture of flat stone and sandy beaches. On one of these beaches, I briefly thought a rock was a massive turtle. I sadly was mistaken…



I loved being able to pass the afternoon just walking around and enjoying the sunshine. This has just made me so excited for summer to come in Seattle, and for more adventures in San Diego in the coming months.



On Wednesday, when asked if I could take a last minute trip to San Diego, my answer was obviously YES (caps lock intended). In my Resolutions post, travel ranked as my number one goal for 2017. While I love, LOVE, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, I realized that I need to get out and about a bit more. Fast forward to today, Saturday, and my first trip of the year is off to a spectacular start.


I have never been to San Diego before, so I spent most of yesterday asking colleagues, Uber drivers, random strangers, etc. for recommendations for what to do this weekend. When I arrived, the Seattle weather had clearly tried to follow me – the quintessential Southern California sun had been replaced with hazy grey clouds – so I didn’t have high hopes for catching up on my Vitamin D absorption while I was here. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning, and the forecast of clouds turned into a perfectly sunny day.


I made my way from my hotel near the office, down to Coronado on the recommendation of one of my colleagues. They didn’t steer me wrong, as I absolutely loved my time hanging around Hotel del Coronado. I arrived around 11am, and spent a little while exploring the grounds of the hotel, admiring both the Victorian architecture of the hotel as well as the beautiful landscaping.




The hotel has been host to Presidents and celebrities for well over a century, and served as inspiration for Disney World’s Grand Floridian Hotel, which may explain the child-like glee I felt while exploring the grounds. Everything was so beautiful, and so well thought out. The lobby took my breath away, as the contrast between the sunny, bright exterior and the dark, rich interior was very unexpected.



As I made my way through the lobby, I exited through double doors out into the courtyard. Sets of flamingo pink lawn furniture were shaded by cabanas, set in the midst of lush green grass and gardens filled with palm trees and birds of paradise. I was definitely not in Seattle anymore.



As I made my way through the hotel, I found myself out at the beach. I didn’t have many plans this weekend, but hanging out at the beach was the one thing I knew I had to do (no matter what the weather was like). This beach experience was quite different than what I can find at home – no rocks, driftwood, or seaweed for as far as the eye could see.






I came across a bike rental as I walked down the beach, and decided to take a beach cruiser out for the afternoon. I biked a total of 14 miles, taking the Bayshore Bikeway down about 5 miles and back, and then meandered through the residential streets along the golf course, making a mental list of all the homes I’d love to live in along the way.



After the bike ride, I settled in at the beach-side bar at the hotel, and ordered a Spicy Mojito to sip on in the sun while I read. I passed the time this way – reading, sipping, people watching and sunning – for a few hours until sunset was upon us.



I frantically took photos of the shore while soaking up those last rays of sunshine. Sandy, salty, and a bit sunburned, I walked away from the surf and back toward the hotel ready to go back to my own hotel for an early night in. I certainly was a bit too windblown and damp from wading in the waves to get the shot I didn’t quite feel appropriately dressed for dinner at any of the beautiful seaside restaurants at The Del. All in all, I feel as though I packed the activities of a whole beach vacation into one day, and am so happy that I was able to take some time to relax in the sun. I can’t wait to come back on my next trip, and would love to stay at The Del next time I’m in San Diego for a weekend!



Photo taken from my old apartment’s terrace on New Year’s 2016.


Each new year tends to be the same – make a resolution, keep it briefly, and then forget it even exists. Usually this is because the resolutions I have set have been more or less unpleasant – work out all the time, give up alcohol, stop eating carbs, stop spending money, etc. This year, I’m going to try something new – I’m going to set resolutions of things that I truly will want to do, and then work on achieving the goals to get me there. I hope that by focusing on the end goal, rather than on the unpleasant tasks to get me there, I will remain inspired for a bit longer than the first week of January.


I didn’t truly take a vacation in 2016. I may have gone to Australia in February, but it was predominantly for work, and I did not give myself much time to truly enjoy the trip. I think that a big reason behind my lack of adventure in 2016 was a focus on and fear of missing out on things at work. I have realized that the work will always be there, and if I do not allow myself the opportunity to recharge, I won’t enjoy it as much as I should. This year, I aim to make up for lost time, and recharge by way of exploring and discovering new places.

I will go to Scotland and or somewhere in the UK.

I will further explore the Pacific Northwest.

I will take a last minute trip.


This year, I want to stick with creating blog posts. I feel that over the past 6 months, I haven’t taken as many photos, or documented my life very well. Given that I want 2017 to be a year to remember, I want to document my travels and adventures here on the blog. Even if I’m not up to much more than my usual day-to-day activities, I live in such a beautiful city, and I should document it more often.

I also want to paint more. I painted a few times in late 2016, and I found it to be so relaxing and fulfilling. I’ll run out of places to hang things, but I’d love to improve my painting skills/technique in 2017.


While many of my goals are aimed at ways to relax and recharge, I also want to continue to hustle at work. I’m going to adopt an attitude of “go big, then you can go home”. I want to give my all to my work – with the knowledge that after all the hard work is done, I can fully relax. I have some lofty goals to achieve in this area this year, so I’ll need to put in the hard work to get there.

Physically hustle. I don’t want to list “lose weight” or “work out” as a resolution, because let’s be honest, no one actually fulfills those. I do, however, want to put a bit more effort into moving more, and I think that is an attainable goal. I often feel much better about myself, and much better in my skin when I move – working out, dancing, walking the pup, you name it – so focusing on just doing more of those things would be awesome.

Overall, I want to focus on doing more that will make me feel happy and fulfilled in 2017. What more could a girl ask for? Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017!