Weekend Recap

IMG_1664.JPGUnfortunately my average weekends are nowhere near interesting enough to make this a tradition, but this past weekend was action-packed with many fun events. I was definitely too exhausted to function when Sunday evening came around, but we got to see a lot of great things so it was worth it!

Through Harley’s work, we were able to get free tickets to a festival that’s brand new to the Bay Area, Id10t fest (pronounced “I D ten T” which we learned only after saying it incorrectly all day). It was about 45 minutes south of us, which was a wonderful excuse to visit Silicon Valley.

We visited the campuses of Apple, Facebook, and Google, which are far more spread out than you’d think. I’m not going to lie: I was a little disappointed! I mean, I’ve seen movies…I was expecting huge, lavish campuses with sun soaked lawns and executives riding segways. It turns out, the original Apple campus is between an Outback and a dollar store. I think they build a second campus elsewhere, so maybe it’s more impressive! I’m also sure touring the inside of these places would give me an entirely different perspective, so maybe the Zuckerbergs will finally get around to adopting me.

After that, we headed to the festival, which was at a neat venue called Shoreline Amphitheater. We saw a few djs, Lord Huron, OK GO, and Weezer. I’ve loved punk rock since I was old enough to understand music, so seeing Weezer live was a dream come true!

Though we were exhausted, the next day we dragged ourselves to the San Francisco Pride Parade! This is one of the largest / oldest pride parades in the world, so it was quite a treat. I definitely would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so exhausted, but I’m still happy we got to experience it so quickly after moving to San Francisco. I will say it was pretty crazy…but after living here for a little bit it honestly wasn’t anything too shocking. The city isn’t typically that crazy, but it does redefine what you consider normal!

After that, I changed into my pajamas at 4 pm and ate fajitas, which is really all I ever want to do. It was delightful.


Commuting: A Survival Guide


I’m coming to understand that commuting is a “normal adult” thing to do, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. In Chattanooga, I lived a simple, 15 minute drive from my office. There was rarely traffic, my parking spot was less than a block from the front door, and the entire thing was temperature-controlled.

Now I’m learning how to commute like a ~city gal~, and trying to figure out how to not hate it. I will say that compared to a lot of people who live here I actually have a great commute. I walk about 5 blocks to the subway station, take a 15 minute subway ride, and walk a block to my office. I know some people who have 20 block walks walks or have to use 3 different busses, so really I have no room to complain.

When I first moved here, I thought the subway would be like the monorail at Disney World. It even goes above ground in some places, how neat! That was until I had to start taking it every day at peak commute hours, however. It’s always hot, I’m sure it’s very dirty, and occasionally I get plagued with the fear that we’ll get in a violent crash or an earthquake will occur while we’re under the bay.

I’m determined to not start each day with thoughts like this, so I’ve been trying to find ways to distract myself and maybe hate my commute a little less!

Headphones // I’m wouldn’t say I love music. I like music and listening to new albums, but I’m certainly not the person who always has music on. I enjoy the Discover Weekly feature on Spotify, but I’m just as content listening to old favorites most of the time. That being said, for commuting headphones are essential! The subway is loud, people are loud, and having your headphones in give you a great degree of separation from everyone else. I will confess I’ve only been using my Apple Earpods as opposed to my Beats (so I can hear if the train operator informs us we’re all going to die), but I like to think it’s a similar effect. Lately I’ve been loving Lorde’s new album and all Taylor Swift since she’s back on Spotify!

Books // This is the most recent development, and goodness I am glad I started doing this! My cell phone service is terrible in SF, and things barely load for me while I’m on the train. Instead of trying to will my timeline to load, I’ve started reading. It’s a little cumbersome to commit to holding a book when there’s no hope for a seat, but it’s a great way to start and end the day so it’s worth it! I just finished #GirlBoss (I’m obsessed) and started Yes Please. Nothing like some female empowerment to start your day!

Sunglasses // Yes, everyone hates the “sunglasses inside” guy, but I think “sunglasses on the subway” guy is totally legitimate. Subway trains are lit with the harshest fluorescent lights money can buy, which cannot be good for your eyes. It also prevents any awkward eye contact, which is a huge bonus for me.

Using this three-tiered approach, I’ve designed a commute that I at least doesn’t make me want to cry every morning (which is huge progress, believe me). I’m just hoping that one day I’ll be brave enough to wear my noise canceling headphones again!


Recipe Roundup


Okay, obviously this is a picture of In N Out, not an actual recipe! I went through my pictures and realized I did not have a single picture of food that I’ve made. I’ve never gotten into the food photography craze, like at all. The only reason I have this picture is because it was from my first day in California and I sent it to my mom!

Clearly I have no future as a food blogger because I can’t make pretty food to save my life. However, I do love cooking!

Well, let me rephrase that. Cooking is a little bit of a chore, and something I don’t necessarily look forward to after a long day. However, what I do love is finding recipes, grocery shopping, and knowing I have leftovers so I don’t have to cook for a few days!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m typically a busy gal. Finding recipes that just get put in the slow cooker / oven / pan, don’t require me to buy too many ingredients, and can save me from having to think about what I’m having for dinner for the next three nights is a dream!

When it’s time to grocery shop, I typically look at the sales flyer for the week and base the recipes I source off of that. Typically we keep it simple for lunches (turkey sandwiches, salads, etc.) to cut down on the grocery bill, and then will make a meal for dinner and eat the leftovers for a few days. It’s kind of like extra-chill meal prepping.

While I do love trying out new recipes, I have a few that I always come back to! I’m so thankful for the bloggers who actually take time to post these and curate beautiful pictures of their dishes, so I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of all the lifesaving recipes I’ve found!


Black Bean Turkey Burgers // These get made ALL the time! I always have most of these ingredients on hand and throw them on the George Foreman grill! Utilizing black beans with the turkey increases the protein / cuts down on cost per burger, so this is an economical and tasty recipe. Typically I’ll serve them with sweet potato fries from the same blogger…or just chips if I’m feeling extra lazy!

Chicken Fried Rice // This recipe is slightly more intensive than others because you have to make the rice ahead of time, but it is tasty. When I was younger I would beg for us to go to the (only!) Chinese place in my home town so I could order chicken fried rice, and it’s still one of my favorite dishes. This is a great meal, and it makes a ton for leftovers!

Taco Soup // This is something my mom used to make all the time when I was younger, and it’s still a staple to this day! It’s easy, filling, and super tasty. Harley doesn’t typically like soup as a meal and he loves this stuff. We eat it with shredded cheese and Fritos on top!

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti // Holy cow. This meal is hearty but it is so, so tasty. I’m a fan of anything that you can put in the slow cooker, and this is one of the best slow cooker recipes I’ve found to date. As unhealthy as it is, I recommend garlic bread with this to soak up all the extra sauce bits.

Taco Casserole // This is actually a Weight Watcher’s recipe, so it is healthy and tasty! It’s extremely easy, and comes out like a beautiful, cheesy taco lasagna. I love casseroles because they’re so easy and a complete meal!

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken // I crave this all the time! It’s exactly like what you would get from a takeout restaurant, except it’s not questionable, greasy chicken. I recommend making 1.5 of the sauce recipe so you have plenty for your rice!


There you have it, some of my favorite dishes! I love trying new recipes, so I’m sure I’ll have a new version of this in a few months’ time.

Workout Woes


Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here…I hate working out. I live a pretty active lifestyle and I love doing things that require me to get moving, but working out is it’s own separate beast.

I’ve never been athletic, nor did I play a lot of sports growing up. I rode horses for the majority of my childhood and I was extremely disciplined when it came to that, but I never had the drive to be an athlete in the traditional sense.

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve played on a few rec soccer team (which I loved!) and enjoy climbing and yoga classes. Going to the gym and guiding my own workout? Not so much.

On top of that, I absolutely hate cardio. I’ve had exercise-induced asthma for as long as I can remember, which makes cardio extra miserable. It’s not severe, but it hinders me from pushing myself and makes something already not fun even worse.

All that being said, I have found some things I do enjoy, so if you relate to this there is definitely hope for you too! I’ve been doing yoga for as long as I can remember, and I think I’ve naturally applied the yoga philosophy to every fitness regimen. The concept of listening to your body and finding your own path to fitness is honestly the most solid workout advice I’ve ever received.

Personally, I’ve found the most important thing is to not put too much pressure on myself. I used to be so bad about this, and would workout really strenuously for a week or so. Then I would inevitably fall out of the habit because I was making myself miserable each time, and that’s just not fun! I do hold myself accountable to doing something active, but if I reeeeally don’t feel like doing a particular exercise that day I don’t sweat it too much. No sense in making myself miserable just to have a “harder” workout!

I also try to mix up what I do, to prevent myself from getting bored. I typically start with a small stint on the treadmill (like, <20 minutes) just to get warmed up, and do some more engaging moves afterwards! I’m a sucker for those pictures on Pinterest that show you a few workouts (like this one) so I tend to find a few of those and mix the exercises together. I find that designing my workouts “on the fly” like this makes the time that I’m actually in the gym more engaging because I’m not just going through the motions of a strict plan.

This is the pattern I follow for every muscle group, but when it comes to what muscles I choose to work each day I just do whatever I feel like! I mix traditional workouts in with climbing and yoga, so I just vary it based on what other activities I’ve done recently.

Another important thing to note is I don’t own a scale, and I don’t use the one at the gym either. Nothing is worse than feeling great after a workout, and getting on the scale to see that you’ve technically gained weight. My weight has always fluctuated like crazy, and I’d much rather stay in tune with my body and what feels right as opposed to obsessing over numbers!

I think the biggest takeaway for this if you relate to me is to try to make it as engaging as possible for yourself. Yes, being healthy is important, but if running isn’t your thing don’t force yourself to do it for hours on end! There are thousands of ways to get your body moving, so do what feels good instead of what might make you lose 10 pounds in a day or whatever. It’s a lot more fun that way, and I think the results from a fun workout are far more beneficial than a hard, miserable one!


I wanted to take a few minutes today to talk about living with your significant other!

I do want to start off with a disclaimer though, because I am absolutely not an expert on this. This is just my experience, which has honestly been overwhelmingly positive. Living together is a huge thing and thankfully for us, it worked out very well. I definitely don’t think that everyone should do it, or do it as fast as we did. We had a lot of external circumstances (which I’ll get into!) that lead us to where we are. Its worked out well for us, but definitely don’t do anything before you think you’re ready!

So first and foremost, I think evaluating the relationship is the single most important factor when thinking about living together. Everyone is SO different, and it’s okay to not feel ready after a long time, or to feel ready right away! As long as you’re on the same page (both for the present and your future) that’s all that really matters. There’s no “one size fits all” timeline, and that’s okay!

Harley and I definitely moved in together really quickly. Before we started dating, we were both considering moving out of Chattanooga. I had actually applied to a few jobs in other cities already, but I put that on the back burner when he and I first started dating. Once I found out he had done the same thing, we had to discuss the concept of doing that together. We were both comfortable with the idea, and since his career path as an engineer is more set he continued to apply for jobs in cities we had agreed on being prospects. As my lease ended in Chattanooga, I moved into the apartment he was living in as we focused on deciding where to move next.

Again I want to clarify that I don’t think this would be the case for everyone, but I do want to be honest and say it wasn’t as big of an adjustment as I was expecting! One thing that helped is that I think we both did a great job at maintaining the sense of having our own space within the apartment. He has his office area which I basically never interact with, and I have my book collection and decorations that make the place feel more comfortable for me. Even though for our move to California we had to get all new things for the house, I still think we maintained this pretty well. If anything, it’s been more exciting because now we’re establishing a place together!

Another thing that I think is just as important as compromise is being able to share what’s important to you. This is something that I have to work on, because it’s so easy form me to say I don’t have an opinion just because I want Harley to be happy! Sharing what matters is super important and the only way to foster good communication. On the flip side of that, you also have to be attentive when your partner shares things with you. Living with someone is basically just balancing out each other’s needs and wants, and the only way to do that is to be on the same page!

Finally, I think making time to hang out with each other should be a big priority! We watch a lot of the same shows together which is great, but it can make it all too easy to eat dinner and zone out in front of the tv. Doing something that prompts you to interact often requires a little more intention when you share an apartment, but it’s worth it! We break out our N64 sometimes, or we’ll watch a show that prompts us to talk instead of just sit side by side (House Hunters, or any show where the audience makes a decision is perfect for this!). It’s is a great way to have “quality time” without having to make it a full on date night and turn into an exhausting endeavor. Sometimes you just want to hang out in your pajamas together and play Mario Kart, and that’s totally ok! As long as you’re doing something that prompts you both to have fun, that’s all that really matters.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I feel like this was mainly ramblings, but I really hope that it helps someone who might be needing some reassurance. I think as long as you keep these things in mind and you have a partner that’s willing to do the same, living together can be a great way to have a built in best friend to help with dishes / late night pizza deliveries. I’m a firm believer that if you’re ready and open things will fall into place if you let them, and I don’t think that this is any different! When the timing is right things will work out just as they are supposed to, and you can start your own adventure together!


A Day in San Francisco: Survival Guide

Being able to explore San Francisco has been wonderful. With so much around every corner, there’s no shortage of things to be amazed by. However, I’ve found it super important to be prepared when it comes to all-day adventures! Between the hills, the weather changes, and the sheer amount of things I want to see and do, there’s a lot to take into account before setting out for the day.

For me, I think the biggest thing to prepare for is the weather. The city has a “microclimate”; not only is the weather here different from the rest of California, but the various areas of town have weather patterns independent of one another. In regular terms, that basically means you can be sweating and freezing in the same mile. Harley and I have a running joke that it doesn’t matter how we dress because we’ll be uncomfortable at some point regardless!

I’m an extra big baby when it comes to being uncomfortable, so I’ve made a “daily packing list” of sorts to make sure I’ve extra prepared and have a good time!
1. Comfortable Shoes :: This is probably the single most important thing. We’ve been here for a little over a month now, and we’ve averaged 9 miles of walking every Saturday and Sunday that we’ve gone out in the city. This is not the time for the shoes that are pretty comfortable but kind of rub your heel that weird way sometimes. This is the time for the shoe that has never let you down. For me, that’s typically my Chacos (I have both the classics and a leather pair) or sneakers depending on the weather. I’ve also had success out of my winter boots, but I reserve those for days that are more in the 3-5 mile range just in case!
2. Hair ties :: In Tennessee, you’d occasionally see that wind emoji on the Weather app and know it was going to be breezy. When the wind emoji happens here, be prepared for strong gusts. I almost got pushed off of my bike one time. I hate the way I look with my hair up so I always try to suffer through it, but once I give up I’m always glad that I did! Don’t be me, just put your hair in a bun.
3. Granola bars :: If you get hangry like I do, these are vital. Nine miles of walking isn’t easy on the metabolism, but buying a snack every time you get hungry isn’t easy on the wallet. Absolutely stop for super tasty things when you get the chance (like ice cream cookie sandwiches!), but going into a Walgreens when you’re ravenous should be avoided at all costs.
4. Water bottle :: A strong must! Because of the continuous drought, restaurants don’t serve water unless you ask for it and most grab-and-go places charge for cups. Make sure to bring a bottle with you and keep an eye out for water fountains. They’re everywhere once you start looking!
5. Down Coat :: Before our snowboarding trip in March, Harley bought me the most wonderful Patagonia coat. I love it, and when we decided California was our next move I was pretty bummed that I wouldn’t get to wear it much. Surprisingly, it has come in handy a TON. It’s packable enough to fit in my big purse, and each time I’ve left the house without it I’ve regretted it. When it gets cold here, it gets really cold so this coat is a life saver.
6. Adaptability :: I know this sounds a little weird, but trust me! Things do not go as planned here more often than not. This past weekend, we had to reorganize our entire day because of a parade that shut down a large portion of the city. This made it impossible for us to take the bus we needed, but we saw a beautiful parade and a part of town we hadn’t been to yet! It would have been really easy to take this as a bummer, but being adaptable to the situation was so much better!
7. Lyft app :: Public transportation here is fantastic. It’s pretty straightforward to get around and it’s an overall reliable system. However, when you’ve walked 9 miles and you’re across town from where you need to be, you aren’t going to want to walk 6 extra blocks to the bus stop and that’s ok! Cut yourself some slack and just get a ride. The drivers here have such interesting stories, it’s kind of an experience in itself!
So these are some of my survival tips! The city can be brutal at times, but if you’re prepared and flexible it will all work out okay. Just go with the flow, and it’ll be impossible to not have a blast!

Window Shopping

while I’m not window shopping for a kitten any time soon, look at the little snoozin’ ginger babe!

Do you ever just feel so overwhelmed by the things you need (er…”need”) that it exhausts you? I know part of that is just American culture, but I think another component is the self-confidence that comes with being well dressed and put together! For the most part, everyone in San Francisco proper dresses well. Combine that with the fact that I’m starting my new job on Tuesday and I feel like I’m light years behind on the style front.

Overall, I like to think I have a pretty put together closet. At my last job, we didn’t have any kind of dress code but I still tried to be put together. My new job will be more of an office vibe, and while there is no written dress code it seems that the unspoken rule is to be pretty professional. I’ve gathered a few pieces here and there to help get me started, but I still have quite a bit on my wish list.

Of course, I also have a few things on my “weekend style” wish list…you can’t explore the city if you’re dressed poorly! The climate here is so much different than at home, so I’ve already had to get a few pieces just to be comfortable around the city.

Below is a roundup of some things that have been catching my eye:

EARRINGS // So I’ve had my ears pierced since I was about 8, and got my “second hole” done when I was 14 (does anyone else remember getting your second one to be a huge deal?! I feel like my mom made me wait forever until she let me!). At my last job, we had an open office layout with a ton of college-aged employees, so needless to say I wore my noise canceling headphones almost all day. I basically quit wearing earrings because they would hurt so badly after a few hours of having my headphones on. I have a friend who never got her ears pierced, and I figured if she could be that fabulous without earrings so could I! Now I’m really starting to miss them, so I’m trying to build my collection back up. I have no idea what happened to the ones I used to have. I’ve been a big fan of Kendra Scott for a long time, and I actually have the necklace that matches these already! I love that they have just a hit of sparkle, so I’m going to have to splurge and get them soon.
TOTE // Full disclosure here: I probably have more than a sufficient amount of bags! I already have this Fossil Vintage Re-issue, which I mainly use as my work bag. I really love it, but after carrying it all through college and the past year of working I’m ready for an update! The Fossil bag has a shorter and more wide shape, which is great for walking but really annoying for tight spaces like the subway. I love the relaxed look of this tote, and I think it would be perfect for work or play!
WHITE SNEAKERS // I admit that these are more of a “weekender” kind of item, but I’ve been wanting a pair of white sneakers forever! There are so many different brands that make ones that I like (I love the Adidas Superstar as well) but I think the Vans are such a classic that you can’t go wrong. I’m a big fan of Vans in general, and I can save money by ordering from their kids’ department! They’re a little bit more chic than a regular sneaker but still more casual than flats, so I know that these would fit nicely into my wardrobe. These are probably the first item from the list I’ll end up getting!
CASUAL RUNNERS // I have had the same pair of runners since freshman year of college, so I’m definitely ready for an update! I have the Nike Free 5.0 (which they apparently don’t make any longer) and I love them for running. Lately I’ve been wanting a more casual workout shoe for exercise that isn’t running, to keep my running shoes in good shape. I’ve had my eye on the black Nike Roshe forever (I can wear kids’ sizes in Nike as well!) but Adidas has recently re-released their vintage NMD shoe and I am obsessed! I’ll probably still end up going with the Nike’s because they’re much cheaper, but aren’t the NMDs beautiful?
DSLR // This is the biggest item on my list, and of course also the one I want the most. I love taking pictures. I know I drive Harley crazy, because I’m definitely “that girl” that’s taking the same shot from a hundred different angles to get a good Instagram! I have an iPhone 7 which is very well-equipped in the camera department, but now that we live somewhere with good shots around every corner I want to be able to capture that more. This camera has Bluetooth sync (so I can sync it right to my phone, for Instagram of course) as well as a beginners mode to help you learn the ropes. I’ve held off on this because of the hefty price tag, but I think I’ll break down and get it eventually because I know I’ll get so much use out of it.
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but these are definitely the top-priority items at the moment! We have an amazing mall right by my new office though, so I know I’ll have to keep updating this regularly.