I’m back…and I look like a drunken lion.

I’m back…and I look like a drunken lion. 1

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Did you miss me? Wonder if I had stayed in SoCal to become a chubby, mediocre surfer girl? Assume I was dead?

Apologies for taking a longer blogging hiatus than originally planned. San Diego was fabulously exhausting and I just didn’t feel like writing anything when I made it home. Sometimes, you just have to carve out time to sleep, do the laundry, and sleep some more.

The good news is that San Diego was incredible. Scott and I had a blast spending time with my brother and sister, and my CrossFit Level One training was kind of the best thing ever.

cali

The very best part? Eating my way through Ron Burgundy’s hometown, of course. There were fish tacos, margaritas, ice cream, and of course…more fish tacos. Remember the scene in Charlotte’s Web where Templeton the rat eats everything in sight at the fair? It was kind of like that…just with a long blonde ponytail and (thankfully) no trash cans.

Luckily, my SoCal food frenzy didn’t just leave me with some extra plump thighs…I managed to pick up a few nuggets of foodie knowledge along the way. Here’s what four days and approximately twenty-thousand calories taught me.

 

Lesson 1: Put butter in your coffee

Per a suggestion via Instagram, I swung by San Diego chain Better Buzz Coffee for the Best Drink Ever.

Yep, that’s actually the name of the drink.

betterbuzz

I ordered a medium without actually knowing what I was about to slurp down…with a name like that, who needs to ask questions?

(Apparently, I do.)

“What’s actually in this?” I asked the barista after I swiped my credit card.

It was difficult to hear her over the roar of the espresso machine, but I could swear she mumbled something like “vanilla butter”.  Butter in coffee? Well, why the heck not!?

After visiting the Better Buzz website, I learned that I’m losing my hearing as the Best Drink Ever is 100% butter-free. It’s simply an Americano with a touch of sweetness, cream and vanilla. (Still…it was totally the best drink ever.)

I also learned that putting grass-fed butter in one’s coffee is actually a real thing! It allegedly tastes delicious, burns fat and boosts your energy and performance all day long. Normally I’d be skeptical, but I love butter on anything, so I’ll probably end up giving this a try sooner rather than later.

The moral of this first point? If you’re ever in SD, make sure to swing by Better Buzz for the Best Drink Ever, which surprisingly lives up to its name. Secondly…putting butter in your coffee no longer earns you fat kid status, so by all means, toss a dollop (or two) in there!

 

Lesson 2: Don’t dip your French Toast. Soak it.

On our last morning in Cali, Scott and I headed to La Jolla for brunch at the famous Brockton Villa Restaurant. We’d heard several rave reviews of their infamous “Coast Toast”, and I wasn’t about to leave San Diego without trying a bite for myself.

coast-toast

 

It was definitely one of the top 10 brunches of my life. In addition to a breathtaking ocean view (which smelled strongly of sea-lion dung…but who am I to complain?), and the most divine fresh squeezed OJ, the Coast Toast was out of this world. I pride myself in being a French Toast connoisseur, and I’ve got to stay, Brockton Villa’s version was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. I know several of y’all can’t stand the word moist, but you’re just going to have to deal with it because the moistness of this toast was the very thing that made is such a stand out. It was reminiscent of a lightly sweetened bread pudding. I may or may not have yelled “Come to Momma!” three times during the meal.

How did they make it taste so good? What was their secret? Could I bribe the waiter to casually sneak “momma” a copy of the super secret, extra moist recipe?

Imagine my surprise when I noticed a basket of free Coast Toast recipe cards on my way out of the restaurant. They’ve even posted it online!

Apparently, the secret is soaking the bread for at least an hour instead of just dipping it in batter. I suspect the combination of grilling it and then baking it in the oven also has something to do with it.

Long story short, I can’t wait to try to recreate this at home, and pretend I’m in sunny La Jolla as I sit on my balcony overlooking our humble little lake. (It’s not the Pacific…but at least there’s no sea-lion poop to be smelled.)

 

3. Do not have your husband take photos of you eating food. No matter how delicious it is.

You will think you’re being totally cute, but…well…let’s just say the proof is in the pudding.

My friend told me I looked like a drunken lion. I can't say that I disagree.

My friend told me I looked like a drunken lion. I can’t say that I disagree.

 

Visiting San Diego? Here are some of my other fave places:

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I need a break

I need a break 6

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Do you ever feel like you have so much to say, but actually saying it is just too exhausting?

Welcome to my current blog-sistence. As far as this site goes, I need to finish the second half of my Met Gala red carpet review, tell you all about how I convinced Scott to paint our ceiling black, and get back to answering all the awesomely quirky questions you guys sent me last week. I even have a post floating around in my brain about a possible fashion fast. (I know…I kind of can’t believe I’m considering it either.)

So many ideas. So much content. Soooo much to blog about!

But I’m leaving for San Diego tomorrow morning. This involves finishing a huge work project, packing, dropping the dogs off at the pet hotel, cleaning the house and of course, applying a coat or two of self tanner. Magically losing ten pounds overnight would be great, too.

I’m not just visiting family in California…I’ll also be completing my CrossFit Level 1 Coaching certification. This means that in addition to completing all of the above, I must also finish reading approximately 75 pages on how to properly do a squat. (Who knew such a topic could warrant 75 pages? I sure didn’t.)

In other words, my to-do list be cray cray.

I need a break, and I’m taking it. No blogging, photo editing or proofreading. For the next few days it’s nothing but eating fresh seafood, sucking my stomach in while wearing crop tops, and retaining 75 pages of squat info so I might pass my CrossFit Exam. Oh…and reapplying my self tanner, of course.

See you on Tuesday, blog friends.

******

Want to keep tabs on my California Adventure and super orange spray-tanny skin? Follow me on Instagram!

 

 

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Met ballin’ {Part one}

Met ballin’ {Part one} 3

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Ah, the Met Gala. It truly is fashions biggest night. Unlike, the Globes, the SAGs, and even the Oscars, celebrities push themselves to the style limits — covering their chiseled bodies in clothing that breaks not only the bank, but also the mold.

Met Gala ensembles typically fall into one of four categories depicted in the fashion matrix I’ve created below.

matrix

Oh…heeeey, Beyoncé.

 

Let’s take a deep dive into each fashion quadrant from this year’s event, shall we? Obviously, we’ll be starting with my favorite category…

Weird & Fabulous

Lupita Nyong'o in Prada. Is it an A-list actress? A fabulous parrot? A flapper on acid? I'm not quite sure, but I'm totally obsessed with it.

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada. Is it an actress? A parrot? A flapper on acid? I’m not quite sure, but I’m totally obsessed with it.

 

jay-z-beyonce

Jay-Z and Beyoncé in Givenchy. Pretty sure I just had a fashiongasm. (And I know this isn’t THAT weird…but hey…she’s wearing a veil!)

Rihanna in Stella McCartney. In case you're wondering -- Riri falls into the "weird" section because it's weird for her to wear something this normal. Also...can we talk about those abs?!? Smokin'.

Rihanna in Stella McCartney. In case you’re wondering — Riri falls into the “weird” section because it’s weird for her to wear something this normal. Also…can we talk about those abs?!? Smokin’.

Kristen Stewart in Chanel. This may be the only K-Stew red carpet look I've ever actuallyl enjoyed! Now we just need to work on her posture.

Kristen Stewart in Chanel. This may be the only K-Stew red carpet look I’ve ever actually enjoyed! Now we just need to work on her posture…

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. YES. MORE PLEASE.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. YES. MORE PLEASE.

Rosie Huntington Whitely in Balmain. Short! Leopard! Sparkly things! This could have gone Jersey Shore in a heartbeat, but she makes it fab.

Rosie Huntington Whitely in Balmain. Short! Leopard! Sparkly things! This could have gone Jersey Shore in a heartbeat, but she makes it fab.

 

 

Boring & Fabulous

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in Gucci. PERFECTION.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in Gucci. PERFECTION.

chrissy

Chrissy Tiegen in Ralph Lauren. Bonus points for side boob.

kim-kardashian-kanye-west

Kimye in Lanvin. I think they look lovely, and applaud them for having the restraint to stay within this quadrant of the matrix. Know your place, Kimye. KNOW YOUR PLACE.

Gisele Bundchen in Balenciaga. Yeah, yeah, we get it. You're a ten-foot tall supermodel with mermaid hair who looks good in a paper bag. (Yawn.)

Gisele Bundchen in Balenciaga. Yeah, yeah, we get it. You’re a ten-foot tall supermodel who looks good in a paper bag. (Yawn.)

Taylor Swift in Oscar de la Renta. Gorgeous...but not daring enough for my taste.

Taylor Swift in Oscar de la Renta. Gorgeous…but not daring enough for my taste. (Even if she does look like a real-life vintage Barbie.)

Anne Hathaway in Calvin Klein. Stunning, but predictable.

Anne Hathaway in Calvin Klein. Stunning, but predictable. 

Kendall Jenner in TopShop. (Umm...why was she even invited??)

Kendall Jenner in TopShop. (Umm…why was she even invited??)

 

Weird & Oogly

Shailene Woodley in Rodarte. Can someone please tell her Coachella is OVER? (Love the hair, though.)

Shailene Woodley in Rodarte. Can someone please tell her Coachella is OVER? (Love the hair, though.)

SJP in Oscar de la Renta. I realize I'm probably going to fashion hell for saying this...but I feel like this entire thing is Prom 2001 gone horribly awry.

SJP in Oscar de la Renta. I realize I’m probably going to Carrie Bradshaw hell for saying this…but this entire thing feels like Prom 2001 gone horribly awry.

Katie Holmes in the Beauty & the Beast Dress. She's on all the best dressed lists for this, but I can't stomach it.

Katie Holmes in…the Beauty & the Beast Dress? She’s on all the best dressed lists for this, but I can’t stomach it.

kirsten-dunst

Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte. Earth to Kirsten: Met Gala DOES NOT EQUAL Star Wars convention!

Dita Von Teese in Zac Posen. Fits her like a glove, but is anyone else getting a "It puts the lotion on the skin, or else it gets the hose again" vibe from that color?

Dita Von Teese in Zac Posen. Fits her like a glove, but is anyone else getting a “It puts the lotion on the skin, or else it gets the hose again” vibe from that color?

kate-upton

Kate Upton in Dolce & Gabanna. (This would have been slightly better with a matching pair of castanets.)

 

Boring & Oogly

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta. Alright--perhaps "oogly" is a bit dramatic...but I don't love this.

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta. Alright–perhaps “oogly” is a bit dramatic…but I don’t love this.

Claire Danes in Oscar de la Renta. Snooze.

Claire Danes in Oscar de la Renta. Snooze.

Lea Michele in....I don't even know.

Lea Michele in….I don’t even know.

 

******

This is the part where I wave the white flag of surrender.  There are just too many dresses to sort in a single day. Call it laziness, lack of stamina or whatever the heck you want, but I’m splitting my review into two parts. Stay tuned for more fabulously oogly ensembles tomorrow. (And a special cameo appearance by Lena Dunham. Duh.)

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How to make friends as a grown woman

How to make friends as a grown woman 5

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This is a guest post I wrote that originally appeared on one of my very favorite blogs, Back East Blonde.

*****

You could say I’m a bit of a nomad. Over the past eight years I’ve moved from Nebraska to New York to Seattle to Minnesota. It’s cost me thousands of dollars and involved enough U-Haul rentals to last a lifetime. But the hardest part? Making friends, hands down.

Turns out, the easiest way to meet fellow “grown-ups” is at the office. But what happens if you don’t work with anyone your age? Only have two colleagues to choose from? Perhaps you work out of your home and have resorted to conversing with your chihuahua–who you’ve hired as your ‘secretary’–to avoid feeling totally isolated.

I fell into that last category, in case you’re wondering.

The day I broke down crying in the middle of Caesar’s Palace because a trip with my college gal pals was over, I knew it was time to take action. Making friends in school had been cake! But my new self-employed reality meant social interaction was limited to annual get togethers with long-distance friends. Something had to change.

The moment I returned home, I opened my laptop and pulled up Google.

“How to make friends in Seattle” I typed pathetically in between handfuls of Cheetos.

An endless array of results filled my screen. Maybe my search wasn’t totally lame, after all? After clicking on several links, I decided to pursue Meetup.com, a networking site dedicated to helping you “find your people”. It sounded perfect!

Over the next seven days, the following things happened.

  • I joined “The Pink Stilettos”, a local Meetup group for “girly-girls in their twenties and thirties”.
  • I RSVP’d to a Sex and the City themed event at a local bar, much to my husband’s chagrin.
  • I showed up to the soiree with my husband, who decided to bail at the last minute as my endeavor was “beyond ridiculous”. (So much for having a wingman.)
  • I dressed as my favorite character (Carrie) per the event instructions, only to be told I was “completely overdressed” by the bouncer.
  • I learned the hard way that the party had been cross posted with a singles meetup. Let’s just say dudes were creepin’.
  • Because I’m a people pleaser, I ended up across the street in the Nordstrom shoe department with a sixty-five-year-old drag queen. We left shortly after as they didn’t carry womens’ size 13s. (Thank God.)
  • I was cornered for twenty minutes by a delusional broad dressed as Samantha while waiting in line for the ladies’ room. She swore up and down she was second in line for Beyonce’s role in Dream Girls. Personally, I thought she more closely resembled the Pine Sol lady.
  • I spotted two twenty-somethings across the room. One was wearing a giant fascinator atop her head. Surely she wouldn’t be sporting that headpiece to catch a man! I marched right over to introduce myself.

girls

Today, those two women are very dear friends– in spite of the fact that within five minutes of meeting them I downed three cocktails, showed them twenty-six photos of my dog, and gave a TMI-account of some recent drama with my uterus. Clearly, these chicks (and their headpieces) could handle my unique brand of crazy. We had brunch the following weekend, and the rest is history.

I’ve since moved to Minnesota, where I’m lucky enough to have discovered a new circle of friends. Thankfully, it’s been exponentially easier to meet people with each move, due large in part to eight years of social trial and error.

Tired of talking to your chihuahua-turned-secretary and ready to find some new peeps? Want to do it without finding yourself on a shoe-shopping spree with a male retiree in lipstick? Here are my tried and true tips:

1. Friendship is like dating. You have to put yourself out there and you might get rejected. The sooner you accept (i.e. get over) this, the sooner you’ll be enjoying a wine-fueled GIRL’s marathon with your new posse.

2. Be vocal about flying solo. I was amazed at how many like-minded ladies I met who were going through the exact same social struggle as myself. Much like stretch marks or a crush on Joey Lawrence circa 1995, it’s not something people like to bring up with complete strangers. (Which is precisely why you should bring it up.)

“I just moved here and work from home, so I have no friends and spend my free time shopping online” was practically my mating call when I first landed in the Midwest. I would announce this fun fact on the headset microphone during my side gig teaching group exercises classes at a local gym. I was shocked and amazed at how many girls–most of whom initially appeared intimidating–would approach me after class with a big, fat, “Oh my gosh…me too!” Making new friends is a scary, and I guarantee you aren’t alone in your quest. Make your single status public knowledge, and potential gal pals will gather like moths to a flame.

3. Throw a party. Hosting a social event is a fabulous way to turn casual connections into solid friendships. Once I had lured a few unsuspecting gym-goers into my circle of contacts, I decided to throw a Mexican Margarita night. Sure…the copious amounts of tequila led my husband to bring up the delicate subject of donkey shows…but at least it helped me weed out the ones who couldn’t hang!

*******

There you have it. My (mostly) fool-proof steps to assembling a rocking army of girlfriends. It takes guts, confidence, and just a pinch of delusion, but it’s a method I swear by.

Also…whatever you do, don’t resort to entering a married woman’s pageant in hopes of meeting your bestie. You’ll still wind up friendless–just with a $700 evening gown you’ll never wear again, and a judges feedback sheet in which three different local business owners politely tell you your thighs are too big.

Whatever. I didn’t want to be Mrs. Washington anyway.

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