Friday, June 30, 2017

June Books

One of my goals for 2017 was to read 17 books. Well, had I known my reading speed (or the fact that the library would quickly become one of my new best friends) I probably would have adjusted that number slightly ;)

In case you missed the recent posts, I blogged about the books I read in January HERE, February HERE, March HERE, April HERE and May HERE. There were FORTY-FIVE in the first five months, so when I add June's FOUR that brings the total to FORTY-NINE! In case you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them), go to my write-ups!

  • Dangerous Wonder by Michael Yaconelli - This was another one of the books a friend lent me. It is written by a pastor from Northern California who is struck by the idea that Christians seem to be living a lame and boring Christianity. He urges readers to find their childlike wonder and chase after the AMAZINGNESS that is Jesus. I appreciate that he is very upfront and honest - not claiming to know all the answers, but there to pose a few questions so we can think a little more deeply about our walk with Christ. I don't know that I necessarily came away with any earth-shattering revelations, but it has caused me to think about my relationship with the Maker differently. I would give this one a 7 out of 10.

  • The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman - Quick comic book-esque read. I found it super entertaining and shaking my head in agreement throughout the majority of it. Running is hard to describe to non-runners, but I think The Oatmeal did a pretty accurate job on why it is terrible and amazing all at the same time. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tut and Douglas Abrams - I have had this book on my "For Later" list at the library for months now, but with our camping trip coming up (and what I thought would be tons of extra time to read), I decided this was one I wanted to check out. The book is essentially an interview of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop about how they live their lives and instill joy without their daily practices. This is NOT a self help type book - it is meant to be more of a reflection of two religious leaders who believe we can live joy-filled lives no matter the circumstances or situation. No matter your belief system, I truly think you can take something away from this read. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Focused Man (A Letter to My Son) by Mike Hodson - A friend of ours published his first book and we had to order it immediately. Once it arrived I read it within a day. I will be honest, the book is meant to teach guys how to be men, so being a woman reading it might not have been the audience he was looking for, but I still appreciated what he had to say. Mike used his experiences, along with Scripture, to explain what it means to be a "Focused Man" and how to live a life worthy of God's call. I may be bias, but for this being Mike's first book and a "rough release", I am so proud of him (and of the book). There are grammar and punctuation errors, but the theme and lessons shine through those slight blunders. I would give it a 7 out of 10 (but that's mostly because I'm a female, so am excited to hear how the hubby or other men would rate it).

Okay, so I was expecting to do a lot more reading this month (especially with our 10 day camping trip where we were "off the grid"), but it just didn't happen. Prior to our trip I spent a lot of my "free" time getting ready for our adventure (and getting all of the guest and scheduled posts ready so I wouldn't leave you all hanging while we were gone) and afterward I had a ton of catch up to do... But I'm still proud of myself for at least getting a couple books finished.

PS If you have any suggestions on books to grab, let me know! I'm always down to throw them in the queue!

What are you currently reading?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sometimes People Suck

Let me set the stage for you...

Monday night the hubby went to the climbing gym to workout. When he got home he forgot to close the garage door (right now we are sharing one car because the #AdventureMobile is in the shop - normally he parks the van in our parking spot, but he was putting my car in our garage {after he kindly filled my gas tank for me}).

Tuesday morning I woke up to do some hill repeats and noticed that the garage door was open. I went down and shut it (our garages are not attached to our condos, but are along the perimeter of the complex).

Hilly views

Tuesday afternoon I went to help a friend organize her new classroom for the next school year and noticed a couple items were on the hood of my car. Figuring the hubby had moved them there I put them back and didn't think much of it.

Some of the before and afters of the areas we were able to clean up

Tuesday evening I remembered the items were on the hood of my car and asked the hubby what he was doing in the garage... to which he said he had NOT moved anything... We quickly threw on shoes so we could investigate.

Come to find out, when the garage was accidentally left open Monday night / Tuesday morning {between 10:30pm and 5:30am}, a bunch of our stuff was stolen out of our garage (think tools, golf clubs, BB gun, etc).

Sometimes people suck.


Don't get me wrong, it could have been a lot worse (it was like they grabbed what they thought they could sell easily, leaving most of our camping gear, the hubby's surfboards, our bikes, etc), but it is still a BIG bummer.

We have filed a police report and called our insurance. Our deductible for our home insurance is fairly high so had we filed a claim we wouldn't have gotten anything (but our premiums probably would have gone up). You could look at this in one of two ways - negative (we were burglarized and have to cover everything out-of-pocket) or positive (they didn't take anything that was super valuable and we now don't have to go through the headache of dealing with insurance).

Sometimes people suck.


But no matter what the world throws at us, we always have the choice on how to respond. Here's to staying positive...


Have you ever had anything stolen from you before?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

#AdventureMobile Updates

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for long, you probably know that the hubby and I (along with #WaltTheWienerDog) love our fair share of adventures. For the past couple years we had been using his Ford Ranger as our #AdventureMobile, but when the opportunity came up to purchase a 1995 Volkswagen EuroVan we popped on it.

This is what the exterior looked like when we got it (well, after the hubby did a deep clean on it that is)

Since making the purchase in April, we have done some updates on the van and I thought I'd share some of the progress we've been making (we're pretty pumped on how it has come along... and how it feels more like "us").

This gives you an idea of what the interior looked like when we purchased it.

Let me start off by saying that the hubby wants to try and keep everything as stock and original as possible. Any upgrades we do, we are keeping the integrity in mind (both for resale value and for the purest at heart).


The back half of the van has a hard plastic (that is made to look like carpet) and the front part has carpet. Although they do sell replacement Volkswagen carpet, it is pretty pricey ($125 for the front portion), so we thought we'd try our hand at some DIY replacement carpet. We ended up going to Home Depot and grabbing a large rug (4'x8') and a roll of paper. We used the paper (which is meant to be used more as a painting drop cloth) to create a template for the floor and then used that to trace the carpet areas. It made not have a VW logo on it, but our $22 investment is MONEY! We also added a rug in the back (which is an indoor/outdoor type rug so it is easy to shake out), but the carpet we added will protect the original stuff from getting ruined any further and keep it looking a little nicer.

This give you an idea of what the "original" carpet looks like

A few of the progress shots from the project

Window Blinds

When we purchased the van, the back passenger side shade was broken (you couldn't open it to see out). We figured if we would be upgrading that one, we might as well upgrade them all. I'll be honest, I like the original ones better than the ones we got (the old ones opened vertically, so you could technically open/ close them partially vs. the horizontally opening ones we replaced them with), but at least they are now fully functioning.

These weren't exciting, so there were very few pictures from the project

Rust Repair

For being a 1995 automobile, there is very little rust or wear on the exterior of the van. There was a small area of rust under the passenger side door that we wanted to try and fix before it spread any further. The patch kit Ryan picked up seemed to be almost identical to surfboard repair kits, so he was very familiar with the process. Some resin, catalyst, fiberglass, sandpaper and spray paint and we were back in business.

What the rusty hole looked like when we got it

1. Hubby mixing the Bondo resin / 2. Putting the resin on the fiberglass to cover the hole / 3. Pre-sanded fiberglass / 4. All patched and filled

After the patch had been painted - barely noticeable (and now it won't spread)

Pop Top

The old pop top was the original, canvas material. One of the back corners was all tore out and there were a few large holes in the mesh windows. We decided that we would upgrade the pop top to one of the nicer acrylic materials. Also, since we were upgrading, we figured we might as well add in a little personality and go with a bright color. The hubby and I decided on yellow and really love the way it came out. Although the installation process was a lot more intense than we were expecting (thankfully the hubby has some amazing friends who always seem to be willing to offer up their time), we were finally able to get it in. The replacement pop top was quite the investment (about $699), we believe it will be not only a statement piece but also last for a very, very long time!

This was definitely a larger endeavor than we were expecting, but the guys did GREAT! And we love the pop of yellow!

Vinyl Wrap

One of Ryan's friends wraps vehicles (think the ads you see on the side of cars, boats, buses, etc) for a living. When Ryan mentioned that we got the van, his friend offered to vinyl wrap the interior for us. Uh... HECK TO THE YES! Not only is it a way to keep the original plastic safe, but it is similar to painting a room and it gives it a MAJOR facelift. We had to go through and measure all of the surfaces we'd be covering so his friend could cut each piece specifically, but other than that it was pretty easy peasy (but that's probably because Justin did all the work and we just sat back and watched the makeover happen). Side note: the colors inside the van now match our master bedroom color scheme.

The only real picture I have of the interior... oops! At least it gives you an idea of how it looks.

Mechanical Fixes

When we first bought the van we took it to the mechanic that the previous owner used (he kept meticulous notes). They gave it a once over, did an oil change and issued a clean bill of health. Since then unfortunately we've had to take it in a couple additional times. First, the "Check Engine" light came on prior to our Yosemite and we wanted to make sure whatever the issue was got fixed. (They said the issue would not effect the driving of the van, but had to do with an air pump that regulates the emissions. We got it smogged already so don't need to look into fixing it immediately.)


Currently, the van is over at the shop again. When we pulled in to Yosemite last week our friend said, "Now your van SOUNDS like a VW" and we cringed. One of the fans that cools the engine was making a funky noise (which we were assuming was due to all of the vertical climbing the van had to do to get into the park). We crossed our fingers, said some prayers and hoped that it would get us back home. On the way home all seemed okay until we encountered the perfect storm which is HELL-A LA where accidents and traffic delays, along with triple digit temps caused the van to start overheating. We would have to pull over and let it cool down for 30 minutes or so before trying to drive a few more miles (eventually having to take back roads because the freeway was too much stop-and-go for the engine to handle). When we got home it went to the shop and we were told that two of the fans were ka-poot. Another bummer part about this is that apparently those two parts are discontinued (remember, this model was only made for a limited number of years), so they are having a hard time tracking down any type of replacement... We're hoping this is not a sign of what is to come and once these "small" fixes have been made it'll be smooth sailing from here on out. What's an adventure mobile without a little adventure, right?! 

We named her Cherry (maybe I'll tell the story about that later)...
But Cherry looks sad, doesn't she?! 

Although we've only had the van for about two months, we are really enjoying it (and hope to get it back soon so we can go on a couple more short trips in the upcoming weeks). The majority of the tweaks we wanted to make are complete (we may add some art, pillows, etc when we find things that call to us), and we are SUPER STOKED with everything!

Do you enjoy DIY projects?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Global #SportsBraSquad Day Recap

Saturday was Global #SportsBraSquad Day. I blogged about it HERE and invited everyone in the North County area to come out to my local Encinitas run as a way to celebrate.

Yup, Women's Running Magazine even signed on to the event and helped publicize it

Friday night the hubby and I were down in San Diego to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Padres (the Tigers rarely come to San Diego - normally the closest they come is up in Anaheim or Los Angeles, so when they were close by we had to snatch up some tickets to see them play... even if they have been on quite the losing streak lately).

I knew it would be a late night, but no good story ever started with "after I got a full 8 hours of rest...", right?! We got home after 11pm so it was time to do a quick foam roll/ stretching session, set my alarms and hit the hay.

To say I was nervous about the event was an understatement. I had no idea if the hubby and I would be the only ones to show up or if we would have a big crowd (and although I'd LOVE to spread the word to more people, more people freak me out). Don't get me wrong, I can hold my own in social settings, but being the "host" had me sweating bullets before it even started. Like most folks, public speaking is not my jam and I figured I'd probably need to at least say a few words before telling folks where to run, so after I woke up I jotted something down so I didn't go completely blank.

Around 7am, the hubby and I made our way down to Encinitas (I thought if anyone was coming from Del Mar/ Solana Beach/ etc, that Encinitas would be a more centralized meeting area than all the way up in Oceanside). Traffic was easy peasy and we got down to Swami's State Beach around 7:30. I know an event like this (shed your insecurities and your shirt to run in your sports bra) can be VERY scary and intimidating, so I wanted to be early in case anyone showed up.

The hubby snuck into the back of my photo...

The closer it got to start time, the more folks showed up. I was THRILLED with the turn out. Caitlyn with Women's Running had helped spread the word, as well as a local running group who was making the fun run part of their morning workout. I was STOKED to see all of the folks come out to help redefine STRENGTH - men, women and kids alike!

We had about 35 people show up (and I was really only expecting Ryan and I to maybe ten total)

Shortly after 8am I jumped up on one of the benches and gave my little spiel (thanking everyone for coming, giving a little background on the #SportsBraSquad and letting everyone know where they'd be running). It wasn't as terrible as I was expecting and the hubby even said I didn't sound like a complete babbling doofus, so that's something, right?!

I talk with my hands... like a lot!

The "course" was from Swami's State Beach, down to the Cardiff Kook and back. I thought this would be a great route because there were no cross-streets to have to worry about traffic, the bike/ pedestrian lane was wide enough for folks to run two abreast, and with an out-and-back route hopefully no one would get lost.

I tried to make sure everyone felt comfortable running their own pace - whatever that may be. I mean, running in your sports bra can be stressful enough, I didn't want folks to feel like they had to run a certain speed to be included. The speedsters led the pack and I pulled over to try and snap some pictures of folks as they ran past.

Once the crew had all gone by I made my way down to the turn around spot. I snapped some selfies with some of the AMAZING people as I went by and tried to doing a bit of chatting with them all.

The running club that joined us was continuing south from the Cardiff Kook, so I was PUMPED when I saw folks stopping at the statue to wait for everyone else (and snap some pictures). We were able to take another group shot before some of the crew continued back down to Fletcher Cove while the rest of us ran back to where we started.

I swear I need to get better at selfies... it takes me five minutes to figure out which
way to move the phone to get everyone (and the background) in a shot...

Just look at all that STRENGTH in one picture!

When everyone finished, folks snapped photos, chatted a bit and went out to start their day. Some of the ladies even got in 7+ more miles after we stopped (let's be real, I totally would've jumped in but it was technically supposed to be a rest day so I knew I probably shouldn't). There wasn't a ton of socializing afterwards, which is a little bummer because I was hoping people would connect more, but hopefully everyone still left feeling inspired and empowered.

Some of the guys that came out to support the women in their lives

Oops, good thing it was a "fun run" because it was more like 2.5
miles than a full 3

This guy is my jam... No, not the tiki god, the guy in the black tank (and creeper stache)
who supports me and encourages me in every thing that I do!

It was an honor to be able to host an event like this (it wasn't about me at all, it was all about the cause). I may not love the limelight or being the center of attention, but it seemed like folks appreciated the get together. HUGE PROPS to Kelly Roberts for starting this movement and helping women (and men) find their strength, their badass-ery.

PS Looking for inspiration? Check out #SportsBraSquad on social media. I scrolled through Instagram for two hours on Saturday to like and comment on the amazing stories. Seeing runners shed their insecurities was AWESOME! And hopefully this day was about more than just going sans-shirts, but finding the strength and confidence we so often lack and reminding ourselves that not only are we STRONG and BEAUTIFUL, but that we can TACKLE THE WORLD! 

Did you participate in Global #SportsBraSquad Day?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 25

Sunday, June 18th – 10 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, June 19th – 7 mile run (Goal pace 9:35/mile), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, June 20th – 7 mile run {1 mile warm-up, 8 x .25 mile hill repeats, 2 mile cool-down}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, June 21st – Sunrise Workout @ Parq Nightclub, 3.77 mile run {30 minute run (Goal HR 150)}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, June 22nd –  8 mile run {1 mile warm-up @ 9:30, 6 miles @ 7:35, 1 mile cool-down @ 9:30}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, June 23rd –  6 mile run {1 mile warm-up @ 9:30, 6 miles @ 8:40, 1 mile cool-down @ 9:30}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, June 24th – Global #SportsBraSquad Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

My run on Tuesday was supposed to be 10 hill repeats (I cut it to 8 and added an extra mile of cool-down to make up the distance), so I'm bummed I couldn't hit it... but that just leaves room for improvement, right?! Not sure if it was my legs were still fatigued from climbing Half Dome 5 days before (16.6 miles and 6,300 feet of elevation gain) or if it was the humidity (we were in the upper 90% when I went out) or if it was a mental thing (I took a quick break around repeat 4.5 and after that it seems MUCH EASIER to tell myself it's okay to take a break)... Oh well, gotta put it behind me!

Although I appreciated the mini break I got after the Fontana Half and RnRSD Full (especially since we were camping), we're about 16 weeks out from the Chicago Marathon and it is time to get focused and down to business! #DoWork

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

The week after vacation is always the hardest, right?! Normally I would say that it drug on and felt like forever, but with being "off the grid" for 10ish days, both the hubby and I had a backlog of things to take care of (in what seemed like less time than ever to get it all done). I'm STOKED that it is Friday and that maybe I will be able to take my foot off the gas peddle for a few moments this weekend! But, enough about me, let's jump into some of the things I'm loving lately!

REI Camping Hacks

I received an email from REI a few days before we left for our camping trip and I loved it. It had a link to a blog post that contained some AWESOME camping hacks. Since we do mostly "car camping" not all of them were necessary, but there were a few gems that we are stoked to add to our adventure toolbox.

I started calling them my "nighttime socks"

This came in handy (ha, get it?!), especially when it was BELOW FREEZING!

We didn't use them on our trip, but you better believe we will be stockpiling them now!

Hello Apparel "Adopt Don't Buy" Tee

If you look in my closet you will see a TON of tees from Hello Apparel. I love their stuff! One of their newest shirts is DEFINITELY my jam! $5 from each sale goes to @peta2 (the largest youth animal rights group in the world). I ordered a similar shirt a couple years ago and LOVE that a portion of the proceeds from each shirt sold goes to help animals!


What The Health Documentary

The hubby and I have been vegetarians for years (over 16 years for me and close to 11 years for the hubby). We do our best to not push our personal decisions on to others (vegetarians and vegans often get a bad wrap that they're trying to "convert" everyone to their lifestyle). Hopefully you won't take this like I'm trying to guilt you/ brainwash you/ etc, but just as some information you may have been unaware of. Everyone is free to make whatever choice they would like - I just hope it is as informed as possible! What The Health is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that's costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. [You can watch the full film HERE, below is the trailer.]

What are you loving lately?