Girls on the Run SoleMates

Gerred and I are hard at work training for the San Diego Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon. We’ve been logging our miles through the work week and churning out long runs on the weekends in hopes of making it through the 13.1 miles on May 31. The San Diego Rock N’ Roll will be my first half marathon and I am beyond excited. What makes it better is that I am fundraising for Girls on the Run SoleMates.

I am so glad to be involved in the Girls on the Run community. Though I’ve had to step down from coaching thanks to my new full time job, I still have managed to stay active in the non-profit. I’m in charge of blog content for the marketing committee and I am a SoleMates member committed to raising money for girls.

In my recent Girls on the Run San Diego blog post I talk about the impact donations for SoleMates means for Girls on the Run. Each $160 donated goes towards scholarships and new shoes for girls. Spare some change because a little goes a long way and you’ll be making a lasting impact on these young girls lives.

Learn how to become a SoleMate here and you consider donating to my fundraising page.

Web Roundup

My life is the web. I’m not ashamed. I surf it, read, and learn from it daily. So I’m sharing a few fun articles I’ve found and a few I’ve recently written.

On the Web

A co-worker shared 17 Things You Didn’t Know Chrome Could Do things with me and I could not believe how useful this article is. I immediately downloaded One Tab and have saved my computer from the plague of too many opened taps.

Live From New York combines two things I love, documentaries and Saturday Night Live. I seriously cannot wait for it to be released on June 12!

The Humane Society of Utah put together a photo series of Photo Booth Dogs. It’s cute and quirky and definitely a little inspiring. Maybe I’ll take a “photo booth” picture with Fergus this weekend.

Missed it? Catch Up

Motivation I share my way to stay motivated with health and fitness goals with my detailed stay system.


I’ve been reading a lot of cookbooks lately like Elizabeth Minchelli’s Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City and Victoria Bosgraaf’s Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal Plant Based Recipes. I spent most of Sunday meal prepping some delicious recipes for the week.

Published Posts

I am now published as a contributor to three different blogs, Vows & Valor, Girls on the Run San Diego, and NewBlueFX. I love being able to write about a variety of different topics like military weddings, running, and video editing.

If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans read my latest Vows & Valor article on New Orleans Honeymoon Ideas. Inspired by my honeymoon and a few hopeful other sights to include on my next visit.


Discover how to become a Girls on the Run San Diego SoleMate when you read my first Girls on the Run San Diego blog post, Rock N’ Roll San Diego SoleMates. Don’t forget you can donate to my SoleMates fundraiser here.

I’m in charge of Community and Content at my new job at NewBlueFX and that means I write blog articles about our products. In Get Vegas Lighting with Color Fixer Pro I brake down Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’s lighting effects and show you how to achieve it with Color Fixer Pro. Are you a budget filmmaker? Read my latest article, Top 5 Free Video Effects Plugins.

There’s so many great works on the web. What have you found lately?

Motivation Stars

I try to wake up at 6am to run before work, I prepare healthy meals for the week in advance, and I do something active over the weekend like a hike or long run. Without motivation, I would not be able to do any of this. That’s why I have set aside a corner of my apartment (the coat closet to be exact) devoted towards motivating me towards my fitness and health goals.IMG_8316

The door is complete with running bibs, motivational sayings found on pinterest, and my own motivational star system. I designed the star system to reward positive healthy behaviors instead of simply pounds lost.

To begin with, a star is added to my sheet (or calendar) every time I complete a task. Stars are broken down into the following 5 colored categories:


Once I reach 100 stars I’m allowed rewards that actively relate to my fitness goals. I recently reached 100 stars last week and don’t know what to choose from the following: new workout clothes, a Nike+ GPS watch, a class-pass or pure barre membership, hiking gear, surf lessons, a bike, more SCUBA qualifications, or running gear. Gerred has his own rewards list he’s working towards as well.


The stars keep me motivated and inspire me to get out there every single day. After Gerred and I are done with a run, we rush to the door and add our little star stickers to our name. It takes me back to grade school in a way and I love it.

What do you do to keep motivated? And let me know what you would choose for your 100 star reward in the comments below.

Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes

Without any formal training, Victoria Bosgraaf sprang into the food world when she designed an organic fruit and nut bar for her 6-year old vegetarian daughter. Her friends and family couldn’t get enough of the natural ingredients, so she decided to transform the bar into a business. In 2006 she launched Pure Bar, an organic line of snack bars (not to be confused with the fitness trend Pure Barre) that quickly spread around the nation.


Bosgraaf’s inventiveness and care for her family’s health is evident in each of the recipes in her cookbook, Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes. She promotes exactly what my husband and I strive for in our kitchen, cutting out processed foods, eating clean, and seasonal. Pure Food is a real relief when I’m cooking because the recipes are easy to follow so I’m not doing anything too complex.

Eating seasonally is an essential part of Pure Food. Each chapter is broken down by month and includes in-season ingredients. Living in San Diego makes accessing fresh produce and all seasonal ingredients easy, but I still love the month by month challenge.


So far I’ve cooked up 4 seasonal dishes from Pure Food and loved every single one of them. For lunch, I’ve been slurping up  March’s carrot and curry soup. It’s the right kind of sweet and when topped with avocado is seriously irresistible. October’s cranberry leek quinoa transforms the boring quinoa into a delicious bitter and tangy side dish.


I am not gluten-free, but I tried the gluten-free coconut pancakes and was surprised by the taste. I was expecting the sort of empty taste from gluten free baked goods, but got an even taste of coconut that I love. It’s even better with peanut butter on top.


Hands down, my favorite meal was February’s Dill Havarti Couscous with Rainbow Chard. The cheese is creamy, the pine nuts crunchy, and all the ingredients compliment each other so well. I’m actually eating some now as I’m writing this.

If you’re looking for healthy, seasonal, vegetarian recipes then pick up Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes and get cooking!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Read 50 in 2015: March

March has come to a close and with it the last of this month’s stack of books. With four books read this month, I am now 18% through my 2015 Reading Challenge and ready to share my thoughts.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

“How could the death of someone you had never met affect you so?”

In The Cuckoo’s Calling, we follow private detective Cormorant Strike as he investigates the suspicious suicide of a famous model. Many, like myself, were drawn primarily to the name attached to the author. “Robert Galbraith” just so happens to be a pen name for J.K. Rowling. When I learned that I thought, “Good, she’s starting fresh and I’ll love this just as I did with Harry Potter.” Alas, “Galbraith” fell short with the book’s slow moving plot, static characters, and blah writing.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

“I can pinpoint that as the single happiest moment of my life, because I realized then that Mom would always have my back. It made me feel giant. I raced back down the concrete ramp, faster than I ever had before, so fast I should have fallen, but I didn’t fall, because Mom was in the world.”

Right before Bernadette’s family leaves for a trip to Antartica to celebrate her daughter, Bee’s, academic achievement, Bernadette disappears. Bee compiles a series of notes, e-mail messages, letters, court cases, and FBI documents to find out why her mother went missing and who Bernadette really is.

I love how creative the composition of Where’d You Go, Bernadette is. As I read the gossip e-mails between the private school mothers, the court case documents, architecture journals, and reports from the psychologist, I really felt as if I were prying into the private life of each of these living breathing characters.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

“As we go through life we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.”

Tsukuru Tazaki is haunted by the sudden loss of his close and colorful group of high school friends. After feeling empty and unwanted for years, he journeys into the past to find out what happened to the group and why they cut him out years ago. Tsukuru’s failures with relationships is so relatable that I could feel his pain and understand the importance of his pilgrimage. It’s a great reflection on relationships, memories, pain, and death.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

“Only the weak need … heroes … and heroes need … those around them to remain weak.”

From the moment Charles Lindbergh chose Anne Marrow to be his wife, her life was exposed to fame and all its terrors. The couple of the sky were hounded by the press throughout their explorations, the kidnapping of their first-born, and Charles’s pro-Nazi leanings before World War II. Melanie Benjamin imagines how Anne dealt with the fleeting highs and constant lows of the Lindbergh’s marriage in The Aviator’s Wife. I found the history and description of flight compelling, but overall the author’s voice was weak and overly-flowery.

I’m currently listening to Haruki Murakami’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and still slowly working my way through Frank McCourt’s ‘Tis. What did you read in March and what do you plan on reading for April?

Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City

I want Elizabeth Minchilli’s life. This woman spent two years of her childhood in Italy, then returned again to research Art History for her masters, and then finally settled down in Rome with her Italian husband. She’s now blogging at Elizabeth Minchelli in Rome and writing about Italian food for a living, which seriously is a dream come true and I want to learn everything I can from her new book, Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.

Eating in Rome is part cookbook, part travel guide. Minchelli guides the reader through the streets and dishes of Rome in each chapter. She shares the history of open-air markets and how to navigate them. Simply asking market vendors, “Come se fa?” (How do you do it?), you may just learn a new recipe. She breaks down the rules of Italian coffee, fawns over fried artichokes, and warns all tourists to stay away from monuments when chowing down on lunch.

Minchilili is an inquisitive writer who values scholarly reasoning, history, and the language behind each recipe. You learn more than the how-to with Minchelli’s recipes, but the when, where, and most importantly why. When I closed the book I felt the need the cook and the need to travel all throughout Italy. I may or may not already be looking up tickets as I write this.

I set to work, cooking the recipes that caught my eye in Eating in Rome, concia di zucchine, swiss chard gnudi, and Gabriele Bonci’s pizza. Since I live in the states, my ability to retrieve some of the Italian specific ingredients were difficult, but I made my own adjustments and they turned out just fine.

My favorite recipe was the swiss chard gnudi since I learned a completely new skill of crafting the gnudi mixture into small balls, tossing them into a pot, and waiting for them to float to the top.




For  Minchelli’s delicious Italian recipes and travel advice read Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Hot Chocolate 15K

Distance running should be just as much fun as 5K fun runs. If I’m going to run 9.32 miles, I want to stay entertained the whole way through. The Hot Chocolate 15K was so cheery, I couldn’t help but smile the whole race. I was in a chocolate wonderland and everywhere I turned someone was dressed as a box of Pocky or a character out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was simply chocolate marshmallow happiness for 15 kilometers.


The entire race, Gerred and I were energized. It could have been the carbs of the pasta the night before or the intensely motivating pandora station I was listening to, but I was tearing up the roads. When I saw hills up ahead, I smiled and ran up them with pleasure. Even when there were speed bumps on top of one of the hills, Gerred and I leaped over them as if they were hurdles.


We were able to maintain the same pace from the Firecracker 10K and kept it throughout the entire 15K. After each mile, we high-fived each other and danced all the way past marshmallow stands. Nothing brought us down.

When it came time to cross the finish line I turned on the jets and received one of the coolest medals I’ve ever seen. It was brightly colored and shaped like a chocolate bar with a bite taken out of it. Best of all, the medal had both the Coronado Bridge which Gerred crosses everyday to get to work and the Star of India, the ship I work on at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Having the two landmarks on this medal means a lot to me and really makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be in San Diego.


Once we received our medals we were handed a hot chocolate finisher mug. It included a cup of hot chocolate, a bag of pretzels, a rice krispies treat, a banana, a marshmallow, and chocolate fondue to dip it all in. Needless to say, we gained back most of the calories we burned.

After the race, we returned home to stretch in the pool and relax in the sun. The Hot Chocolate 15K was a truly enjoyable race. I’m glad we got to test our endurance and our capacity for hills. Best of all, we walked home with a shiny new medal and a snazzy hoodie that was dubbed by several running magazines as the best race swag.

Now it’s back to training for our next race, the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Egg White Mini Frittatas


The first frittata I tried was my college roommate’s. She picked up the recipe during her semester in Spain and was mad at work cooking the cheese, egg, and potato together. I took a bite. The mixture was hearty, cheesy, and I was hooked.


Recently, I’ve been attempting to make healthy and meal prep friendly foods. I’ve cooked batches of chicken meatballs and turkey meatballs to pack for lunch. When I decided to look for a simple and meatless lunch option, I turned to the frittata. I learned that with a muffin tin I could cook a bunch of mini frittatas.


These frittatas are both healthy and full of flavor. I substituted egg whites for eggs and added my favorite vegetables, sweet potatoes and zucchini.


Sweet Potato and Zucchini Egg White Mini Frittatas


1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 cup zucchini, chopped
⅓ cup red onion, diced
10 egg whites (I used 16oz of Egg Beaters Egg Whites)
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Coconut oil spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cube sweet potato and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Spray with coconut oil and roast for 30 minutes or until lightly brown.
  3. Spray pan with coconut oil. Cook red onion on stovetop, stirring for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook vegetables for 10 minutes until softened.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and combine with onion and zucchini. Equally distribute vegetables into coconut oil greased muffin tin. Pour egg whites over the vegetables. Top with feta and rosemary. Bake for 20 minutes.


These are perfect for a packed lunch. I suggest packing two mini frittatas, carrots, and fruit. Yum!

Misbath Visits

Ever since we moved to California, I’ve been ready to invite friends from college out here. I wanted to wave a flag to everyone saying “Yes, come to the west coast.” So, when I heard that Misbath was coming to San Diego for Spring Break, I immediately invited her to stay with me.

From the time I picked her up at the airport and all throughout the week, we reconnected over everything Washington College. I got to hear all about the matriculating international students and the new exchange students. Talking to Misbath made it seem like I had never graduated. That was until I heard about her incredible two theses and I thought, “Wow, one was enough.” I was glad I had my degree already.

On Tuesday we explored the Gaslamp Quarter together. Our first stop was Zymology 21, a chemistry themed restaurant and bar. We loved it, especially Misbath since she’s a chemistry major. Drinks were served in beakers and test tubes and all along the wall were famous chemists. Both of us got a little excited over Louis Pasteur. Afterwards, we met up with Jack and hopped around downtown.

The next morning, we took a SUP yoga class through Bliss Paddle Yoga. It was such a surreal experience to paddle out on the water and do yoga. I had a difficult time finding my balance, but managed to do all the steps without falling off of the board. Some of the people in our class were able to do handstands and other advanced yoga moves. The best part about the class was that each pose connected with nature. When the instructor said to look towards the sun I could feel it on my face. When she said in vinyasa to reach out and feel the water around you, I could. I felt centered and at peace out there. I would definitely take a class like this again so if anyone is up for it let me know!

Afterwards we walked around my favorite town in San Diego, La Jolla. We walked along the beach, saw some seals, went shopping on Girard Ave, and had lunch at Puesto for some amazing street tacos.

On the last night we went out to dinner at Bang Bang. It’s a sushi restaurant and club combined and it blew us all away. The atmosphere, the sushi, and fried rice were all off the charts. Our favorite part of the whole place was the famous Ryan Gosling bathroom. Yes, there was a bathroom with Ryan Gosling’s face plastered all around the room!

After dinner, we dropped Misbath off at the airport, and hugged goodbye. Her visit was a blast and I know she’s going to go off and do amazing things in the world. Best of luck with graduation in May and everything that comes after that!

Girls on the Run

Running is how I map San Diego in my head. I trace long trails along carved coastal bluffs, through forests, parks, around sweeping ocean views, up sandy hills, and down the sidewalk of my neighborhood. My soles have met San Diego, but I had still yet to do so. I felt it was time to finally meet people and get involved in my community. So I decided to volunteer for Girls on the Run.

I had heard of Girls on the Run when I signed up for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. There was an option to become a Girls on the Run Sole Mate to fundraise for the program along with the run. When it came time to decide what I wanted to volunteer for I pulled out Girls on the Run from the back of my mind. I love running and I work well with kids, so why not?

I applied with only weeks before the first day of practice and got placed as head coach at a nearby elementary school. I was excited and nervous. I had never been a head coach before. I had served as an assistant volleyball coach in high school, so this was a big leap.

The girls I coach are bright, bubbly, funny, active girls that truly want to be at practice. They love working together, making up energy awards about rainbows and unicorns, and have so much to say. One of my girls has even dubbed Girls on the Run, “Females of the Fast Moving Motion.”

The assistant coaches I work with are the sweetest women I’ve ever met. They’re a great group to work with and make me feel comfortable and confident with the kids. Without their support I don’t know what I would do. All 5 of them excel at coaching and work so well with the kids. Working with these women is such a positive in my life and it’s great to have a bunch of ladies who love running just as much as I do.

Not only have I volunteered as head coach, but as a member of the marketing committee as well. We meet monthly and discuss merchandising and all aspects of social media. Needless to say I volunteered to write for them. So be sure to look out for future blog posts over on the Girls on the Run San Diego blog from me!

I’m excited for the rest of the season with the entire team of girls and coaches. The girls have so much potential and I cannot wait for them to cross the finish line at the 5K in May! Watch out world because these girls are one in a million.