Life.

Where do I start? 

In a matter of one week, I left the corporate world, moved out of our apartment, moved into our first home and started a new job. Needless to say, it has been a very exciting, eventful and busy few months. Truth be told, I will gladly take a little insanity because I am so genuinely happy for my next chapter. The next chapter however comes from a place of gratefulness that everything works out in the end.

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The truth is for many months, I was very unhappy. I was struggling at my job. I did not love what I was doing. I was unhappy with the work life balance. I was letting the stress eat away at me. I knew something needed to change but most of the time I felt like I was drowning. I got through some of the roughest times because I constantly reminded myself of my blessings: my husband, my friends, my health and getting to still teaching group fitness during the week. Then in November, a prayer was answered. I was offered the job of studio manager of the Orangetheory studio I coach at. My passion of fitness had actually turned into a full time job. In the past, the husband and I had discussed my love of Orangetheory and how to make it into an actual job. Here that dream job landed in my lap. It was like I saw all the work I had invested in fitness over the past two years all paid off and led me to this job.

Today, I finally feel like I can take a full breath. I have settled into my new job. We are unpacked and starting the fun part of decorating. I actually have a night off during the week to do whatever I want and am still able to coach. As a whole, I feel lighter, happier, less stressed out. Now being on the other side of the valley I was in, I can appreciate what I have been through in the last year. Even more, I am excited for 2017. With a new mindset and environment, I am excited for new resolutions. One of course is to dust off the blog and start writing again! So, I hope you stick around.. There will be more workouts, fitness and of course travel.

Have a great Monday! 

Ghosting

Yep, I did a little ghosting over the last few weeks. I would have the intention to sit down on Sunday nights and write but something would come up. I have a handful of drafts started and a list of ideas that are in process but I decided to focus the last weeks of living up the last of summer. Our weekends have been pretty busy with birthday celebrations, a USC Game, tons of teaching, house stuff and spending time with family. Even though we have a few weeks left of summer, I would be completely content with my summer if it ended today. Luckily, it is not over just yet because we have a beach day this weekend for the hubby’s birthday, wine tasting in Temecula the following and a 5K to wrap up the month. I plan to be back for Travel Thursday tomorrow to finally share the wineries we visited in Napa. First, just a little catch up over the last few weeks in mostly pictures.

Orangetheory 

I have been teaching every Sunday and going to classes throughout the week. The husband got a membership so now we get to go together which I have been loving. When I taught at LA Fitness, we both had a membership so our nights would be in class or working out together so I love getting back to how our nights used to be.


USC Game

Last weekend, my sister and her family came down for our yearly tradition of a USC Game. Although it was blazing hot, the game was a lot of fun. The Trojans killed Utah State! It was a blast to have the whole family together.


Hiking

On Labor Day, we decided to hike in the morning since it has been overcast before noon the last few weeks. There is a local trail that neither of us had been on so it was the perfect day to try it out. The trail was fairly steep but the best part was the waterfall at the end. Despite the drought there was a nice small brook that was a perfect reward at the finish.


Orange International Street Fair

For my Southern California readers, this is one you want to make note of for next year. After years of hearing about it, I finally made it to the Orange International Street Fair. Lined with countries from around the world, you can walk around booths that have food and items specific to countries. We got so excited to eat food from Greece that reminded us of our honeymoon. Although there were a lot of countries to choose from, I could eat hummus by the buckets so Greece was an obvious choice. Unfortunately, we learned the husband is allergic to sesame oil so our night was cut short. Even more reason to go back next year!

Tell me: What country has your favorite food? Mine is either Italy or Greece with France as a runner up. 

 

3 Lessons I Have Learned at 27 Years Old

Over the weekend, I celebrated my 28th (I still don’t know how that happened as I still feel 22) birthday in one of the best ways possible – doing things I love with the people I love. Saturday started with an Orangetheory Day Out at the beach. It was a great way to get to know students in my classes as well as people I work out with each week. Plus, the weather was the perfect day for the beach. Sunday started with teaching 4 Orangetheory classes followed by celebrating my birthday with my family which included my favorite dinner (chicken pot pie and mac and cheese – talk about comfort food). I took off from work on Monday to spend the day at the spa with the hubby. We had mud baths, got a massage, lounged at the pool and relaxed to the fullest! Although the birthday celebration isn’t over just yet, this weekend was everything I could have asked for.


Reflecting on my 27th year, I was pretty quick to say good bye to this year. While there were some very high highs, there were some very low low’s. Throughout the year though, one thing has remained the same – I have been blessed immensely with an amazing family, supportive friends and the best thing in my life, my husband. While I treasure the amazing places we visited around the world (Portland, Miami, Thailand, Greece, New York and Boston), the gorgeous wedding we got to celebrate with family and friends and the exciting opportunities I have had this past year, I am so incredibly ready and excited for 28! This year my goal is to “do what what makes me happy!” Life is too short to do anything else but that. I have been fortunate this past year to do many things that I love and I look forward to a year of continuing to do those things as well as many more.

As I have reflected back on my 27th, I wanted to share 3 important lessons I have learned in the past year at 27 years old:

  1. Love what you do – I have seen both sides of loving what you do and not this year. I absolutely love teaching cycle and coaching at Orangetheory. I mean why else would I willingly wake up at 6am on a weekend? :) Teaching brings me joy, keeps me sane and gives me back as much as I put into it. On the other hand, sadly I have witnessed what it looks like to not love what you do. It definitely puts life into perspective and creates some growing pains. Most people have to work for themselves or their family so why not at least do what you love each day?
  2. Give everything a try at least once – I think this goes with #1 because how else are you going to find what you love? I enjoy making lists of things of activities I want to try. This has led to me finding some things that I love and bring me so much joy (paddleboarding baby!) while experiencing others that are not for me. Trying everything at least once helps to expand your horizons, learn new skills and meet new people. So why not try that new fitness class, sport or food you have been wanting to try?
  3. Throw your timeline out the window – I was talking with my best friend about the “timeline” that people make for themselves and/or others. These timelines group everyone in the same category but people are rarely in the same spot in life. At 28, there are some people married with kids, there are some still sleeping on a futon, others have reached their dreams, others are still trying to figure out what that is. I always thought I would be married at 23 with 2.5 kids, a white picket fence home and a stay at home mom. Life sure did not work out that way but guess what? I am so happy it didn’t and I threw the timeline out the window to let life just happen. Like my favorite podcast host says (Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential) “Stay in your own lane” and focus on yourself.

Tell me: What is one thing you haven’t done that you want to try? I still have a few things on my life list to try – a barre class, Crossfit, surfing and a duathlon are top of my list this year!

Feeling A Little Deja Vu

Although I worked on Friday, I was in weekend mode Thursday night because I got to meet my sister in LA. We had a quick drink and app at SUR Restaurant (and sadly no sighting of anyone from the show) before heading to our meet & greet with David Nail. He is an artist we have followed for almost 6 years across California so meeting him in person was a HUGE deal for us. We enjoyed front row spots for the concert and sang our hearts out for two hours. The rest of the weekend included a cycling class, dinner with the family, an Orangetheory Night Out and time by the pool.

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Feeling A Little Deja Vu

My Saturday night was spent with members and fellow teachers from my Orangetheory gym. Our monthly night out was at a fellow member’s home for a BBQ and pool day. What began as a plan to stop by for an hour turned into a fun, four hour hang-out. I was the only coach who was on the schedule for the next morning so I headed home at a decent hour to prep for the class and get some zzz’s. I woke up at 6am on Sunday morning to teach 4 back to back classes for the day. Although it was my first time teaching more than two Orangetheory classes in a row, I was excited for the challenge. From start to finish, the classes some of the best I have ever taught! I loved getting to meet new students, loved the strength workout of the day and enjoyed every moment of coaching and motivating. As I was driving home, I could not help but be in a great mood. I am teaching at a gym that I love to be at because it really feels like a family. All the way from the studio manager down to each student I have met. On the other hand though of my happiness, I had a bit of a deja vu moment from about a year ago when I wrote this post.

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When It’s Time To Take A Step Back… Again

Last year around the same time, I scaled back some of my classes and tried to make my schedule more accommodating. Within a few months however I was offered a new teaching gig and my schedule went right back to being jammed packed. Driving home on Sunday, feeling as happy as I did about being a coach at Orangetheory, I could not lie to myself any longer. It was time for me to “take another step back.” This time however that meant quitting one of the gyms I work out. Since February, I have taught cycle at a new gym that just wasn’t working for many reasons. I think because teaching at the gym was a dream of mine, I tried really hard to make it work. In the back of my head I knew it never felt right but I hoped it would change. Unfortunately, 6 months later and the nagging feeling that it isn’t working only got worse. This weekend just made me realize I had to take an action and quit. Am I sad about it? Yes, but the relief that I feel is worth any small sadness I do have.

While maybe coincidental that a year ago I felt the same way, I think I am lucky that I have things in my life to compare to. I have a gym that I have taught at for two years that I still get excited to teach at. I have a new opportunity at Orangetheory that has confirmed my love of teaching and fitness. Life is just too short to spend any of your time doing things that do not bring you joy. I just needed the honesty with myself to cut what wasn’t bringing me that joy.

Have a wonderful Tuesday! Catch you back soon for some travel posts.

The Comparison Trap

I deleted my Facebook almost over 2 years ago as it was not adding any benefit to my life. After a break-up and wanting to rid myself of anything negative, deleting my account was good for my soul. I never had a desire to get back on over the past 2 years until I started blogging. Almost every article I read mentioned utilizing Facebook as much as possible. For the first year of the blog I survived without it until this year when two of the groups I am a part of, started communicating via Facebook. A few weeks in, I realized I was missing important information because I wasn’t part of the group. Therefore, I finally started a new Facebook account (under my married name of course). I liked the idea of getting to start my new account under my new name. But… a few weeks in and I got that first request that immediately made me question having a Facebook. I got the all too dreaded 10 year high school reunion group request.

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I know you’re probably thinking “oh gosh, she’s going to share her horrible high school experiences.” No, I’ll spare you. In fact, it really wasn’t that horrible, but definitely not a time in my life as a chubby insecure teen that I like to reminisce on. Getting that initial request (and not knowing how privacy settings or the ability to quit a group worked) I panicked for a second. First, because I was doing the math in my head asking myself has it already been 10 years. After realizing sadly yes I am that old (and reminding myself to have that minor I’m-almost-30-years-old-freak-out another day), I started to remember why Facebook has always been bad for me. Facebook has always sucked me into a negative thought process that would result in me questioning everything I had been doing since high school, how I looked in pictures, where my relationship stood and on and on.

Stop the Comparison Trap

Now don’t get me wrong.. I love social media. I’m a consistent Instagram scroller at night and love me a good Twitter chat but neither have made me go into such negative thinking like Facebook does. Even then, Facebook is great to connect with family and friends in other states or countries but for me it always lead to the comparison trap which never ends well. After rejecting the reunion group request on Facebook, I started thinking about the comparison trap that I experience on Facebook that I see so many people fall into at the gym. In the classes I teach, I see many new students get upset because they cannot lift as much weight, bike as fast or long or complete as many reps as another student. I find myself telling new and old students often that you cannot compare your fitness journey to someone else’s. Every single person is at a different point in their fitness. When you are working out in a group fitness setting just like a solo workout session, your focus should be on YOUR workout. You will never find anyone who is in the exact same point in their fitness to compare to, therefore comparison does nothing for you. The only comparison that should take place is against yourself. Reminding students to keep track of their accomplishments. Tracking their workouts can show an increase in reps, time or weight and is a great way to compare yourself to the only person who you should. This is one of my favorite quotes and a constant reminder to stop comparing yourself to anyone or anything because YOU are the best you!

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Tell me: What is your favorite and least favorite form of social media?

Post Christmas Funk

4 days from the New Year? I am equally excited and intimidated by 2016. The last 4 days of celebrating Christmas were wonderful as I completely ignored the growing to-do list in exchange for time with family. Our Christmas Eve started by sleeping in (if I could I would ask for that every Christmas) followed with a walk to Starbucks for breakfast. After a sweaty arm and cardio workout, we saw the “Sisters” movie which was hilarious. We ended our day at a church Christmas Eve service with family and dinner at Del Taco (that is what happens when it is the only place open). Our Christmas was one of the best I think I have had as an adult. Spending time relaxing with family, staying in pajamas all day and delicious food is just what I desire as I get older. Saturday was back to the exercise grind with cycle class followed by hitting up those post Christmas sales. Our evening ended early and I enjoyed a rather glorious 13 hours of sleep. I was refreshed and ready to teach on Sunday morning again. We celebrated Christmas with the husband’s family with lunch and a movie. We saw “Creed” which was another great movie. Sunday night was spent doing laundry and watching my personal favorite Christmas movie- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Christmas Eve 2015 Planks and Planes

Christmas 2015 Planks and Planes

Post Christmas Funk

Or maybe it is a post Thailand funk or a random middle of the month funk but I have been in one since returning from Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong in thinking I haven’t enjoyed any part of the last month with the holidays, friends or family. I have noticed though that the usual post vacation funk lasted a lot longer than usual. Returning from halfway across the world was much harder than I thought it would be. It took over a week to get back into the normal work and sleep routine. The following two weeks were thrown into chaos with holiday parties, family obligations, engagement pictures (coming this week!!), signing up to go back to school (more coming this week), teaching and on and on. Christmas came and left so quickly this year. The day after I was left reconsidering doing a vacation during Thanksgiving again next year. This is not meant to be a complaining post as I have nothing to complain about but rather to share how excited I am for the new year.

I love setting new goals for the new year, feeling like there is a blank slate in front of me. 2016 already looks like a memorable year with school starting in Jan, our wedding in February, our Greece honeymoon in spring and the OC marathon in May. That is just the beginning so I am looking forward to another year filled with love, fitness and traveling. I have a very long list of new year goals (not resolutions as I think that word is overused) and an even longer list of things to do –  the first being to get my Thailand recap up on the blog. I will share more of those goals this week before New Years and hopefully a Stitch Fix since I am 3 fixes behind.

Tell me: What was the highlight of your Christmas? What was your favorite gift? 

It’s been two weeks?!

Where did the last two weeks go?! I have no idea. Somewhere in that time I’ve done Christmas shopping, taught my usual classes, been working, visited my new nephew, went to three Christmas parties, decorated for Christmas and a slew of other things I cannot remember. Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind and I laugh at my attempts to plan. The second we got back from Thailand, we were in full holiday mode. I cannot complain though when this is how my Saturday night is filled!


Luckily, this week is a short week! 3 working days (let’s be honest, mentally only 2 days) before a 4 day weekend. I am looking forward to a day of lounging, spending time with my family. This weekend we are filling out time with Christmas activities. Disneyland on Friday night, Festival of Lights on Saturday and hopefully Thoroughbred Street on Sunday night. Only a week left to soak up the holiday! It’s nice being done with my shopping to enjoy the week doing activities and not standing in a line of shoppers. I’ll leave with some pictures of the fun I’ve been filling my past few weeks with.

  

 Catch you back Monday! Have a great weekend.

Tell me: Are you done with your Christmas shopping? 

What I’ve Been Loving Lately..

I will be keeping it short and sweet today as I play catch up. We finally got back home Saturday morning. Why is it so wonderful to be back in your own bed! After getting back I slept for almost 6 hours. Sunday was spent catching up on sleep, laundry, some Christmas pictures and unpacking. Since I skipped Friday Favorites, I thought I would share some of my favorites from the past two weeks.

Of course, my favorite over the past 2 months was first and foremost, the amazing sunsets along the beach filled every night in Phuket. Watching the sun go down every night over the ocean was just how a vacation day should end.

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Getting this email made my day! I am so excited to be a part of BlogFest 2016. BlogFest has been something I’ve really had a desire to be a part of it so I cannot wait until July!
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World’s Top 20 Cities According to that Dude who Visited Every Country” – MSN Travel

Is Travel Insurance Worth It” – Los Angeles Times

Fresh fruit – dear lord, I am going to have the hardest time going back home to mediocre fruit. I loved having fresh fruit, cut off the tree every day as well as pressed fruit. Food wise, that will be the only thing I miss from the country. I also found one of my new favorites is dragon fruit. I absolutely loved trying new fruits.

Every time I travel I am reminded how much I love to walk. Walking to places instead of taking a taxi is a great way to stay active on vacation as well as enjoy the city in a different view. I wish I had brought my FitBit to track how many steps I took throughout our vacation.

Meeting new friends was a definite highlight of our trip. We met so many amazing people from around the US that shared the same passion as us, to travel. I enjoyed so many intriguing conversations and was even sad that some of our new friends lived on the other side of the US. Excuse the poor quality picture but these are the people we spent with during the entire trip who helped make it an amazing one. We had the best tour guide who lives in Thailand and I will miss having her guide us each and every day.

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10 Most Charming Italian Cafes” – Huffington Post

Tell me: What was the highlight of your week? What is your favorite fruit?

Is it Friday yet?

It has been just one of those weeks. I am counting the hours until Portland.. Friday night cannot come soon enough. This weekend adventure is much needed! Since a full post wouldn’t make logical sense anyhow I figure it would be best for a random thought Wednesday. These are becoming a monthly regular! So grab your cup of coffee and let me tell you:

  • I am so upset because I lost my Fitbit. I’ve narrowed down the time that it fell off (still don’t know how that happened) but that time frame was when I went into two stores. I called last night and neither had found it. Bad timing with our planned hikes this weekend. Time to charge up the old trusty Garmin!!
  • Pet insurance has been my most Googled word this week. Emma’s visit this week was $250 and I actually said “Oh that’s not bad, I expected worse.” I am spending way too much when anything under $300 is considered good. Unfortunately with these random, rare issues Emma keeps getting it is worth looking to or at least starting a savings just for her. Who needs a college fund for their children? New trend – savings fund for your pets. I know my mom and best friend are in the same boat!
  • College football season is around the corner! The entire family is going to their first USC game on September 5th and I am looking forward to Saturday’s being filled with Trojan football. Plus, our first game also means I get to see my sister and her family very soon which makes me happy!
  • I cracked  and downloaded the Kindle app on my IPad. The book I was planning to bring on the plane is a large hardback book. Since we are only bringing carry-ons I need to utilize space. I love the feel of a real book in my hands so we will see how this goes.  
  • My latest food obsession: Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Cream Cheese. Just go and get it. It’s just perfection.
  • Spotify band of the week: N’Sync. Yes I may be struggling going into my late 20’s on Saturday. Reaching back into my teen years with my playlists this week.  

Well time to get to work. I have one more day of training and my last cycle class for the next 5 days so I’ll be back to routine very soon! Have a wonderful Hump Day!

Tell me: If we were having Starbucks (I would be having Starbucks of course) what would you tell me about your week? What are you looking forward to?