Two Lovely Women

Today I had two separate conversations with two separate women from totally different friend circles. We spent a lot of time talking about our lives, as women do. Griping about our small problems and being thankful for all the other amazingness around us.

Both women left me with the same message: don’t be so hard on yourself.

Forgive the fact that you skipped that last hill on your run. For leaving the dishes dirty in the sink. For laying in bed at 9pm instead of going out for a night with friends. For that extra scoop of ice cream.

I hold myself to some pretty strict standards, but maybe it’s ok if I don’t meet them every time. Maybe no one besides myself even notices the difference!

I’ve been trying this for a couple of months now. It works. So just relax your standards a bit … I promise you won’t miss them.

Big hug and a kiss- Ash

Life Update: Happy Birthday to Me!

This weekend was pretty epic. Mike’s best friend and his girlfriend Amber flew in from across the country to celebrate my 25th birthday and explore San Diego with us. My one big birthday wish from Mike was to not have to plan any of the festivities. He did a fantastic job taking the pressure off.

Thanks to my relatively flexible schedule, I got Friday off and another friend of mine (shout out to Kim!) took us on a hike at Torrey Pines Beach. We took a route straight up the hill, down to the ocean, and then across the beach. It’s the first time I’ve been to the beach since we settled here and I quickly remembered the lovely smell of the salty air and the soft sand sliding under my feet.

That night we went to SkyZone. If you’re unfamiliar, SkyZone is a big room filled with trampolines. There was a basketball hoop, foam pit, and dodgeball court, as well as an open jump area. We spent an hour jumping and playing like 12 year olds. It was great fun and holy bajolies it was a workout! I definitely plan on going again.

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After SkyZone we took Kevin and Amber and our 2 pound burritos to the velodrome where we watched people race their bikes. It was cool to show other bike-savvy people the sweetness of the track.

On Saturday I cooked a big breakfast of sweet potato pancakes and we spent the afternoon at the beach. It was a gloriously sunny day. Perfect temperature and not a cloud in the sky. While the boys went boogie boarding, us ladies jabbered away.

IMG_1961 Mike has perfected the pale person’s beach visit.

IMG_1960 Kevin and Amber, soaking up the sun.

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It’s so amazing sometimes to be with like-minded couples. I felt that I was hanging out with Mike all weekend but also having a girls/friends weekend.

That night we went for my birthday dinner and a stroll around Old Town with my parents. It’s a great neighborhood a few minutes drive from our apartment. Lots of old, spanish style and adobe buildings. It has become of a bit of a tourist trap but it worth visiting for its excellent restaurants and ambience. Especially this late in September, the number of tourists was definitely bearable.

After dinner our foursome met up with a few other couples and singles. We went to a very chic, new bar around the corner for one drink (I was NOT cool enough to be in there) and then spent the rest of the night in our local dive bar.

We were feeling kind of slow on Sunday so we spent a couple of hours perusing and munching at the farmers market and later in the day we went on a walk through the gorgeous Balboa Park.

It was an incredibly packed, fun-filled weekend. Mike and I finally feel that we’re starting to make friends here in San Diego and it was wonderful to have Kevin and Amber here to meet everyone. San Diego is truly starting to feel like home. I’m a happy chappy :)

Have a great week and a relatively productive Monday. Love and a big hug -Ash

Workout Wednesday: Loosey Goosey Plane Ride

Our visitors this weekend live very similar healthy lifestyles to Mike and me. Amber, a new friend of mine, is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast and we found common ground in our health goals. It was a breath of fresh air to be around someone just as analytical and knowledgable about natural health.

Before they got on the plane, they wanted to get in a workout. I totally understood their plan. It always helps to have exerted yourself before a long flight. It gets fluid to your joints, stretches out and activates your muscles, and frees any built up energy so you can relax more easily once you finally board the plane. It can even help you sleep!

So try to squeeze in one of my workouts before a flight, and lessen the discomfort and staleness.

16 minute total body 2

I hope you’re all having happy days :)- Ash

Tasty Tuesday and a Few Updates

Hey All! This post is all about updates. You’d be amazed how much time I spend thinking and talking about this blog. That means I have to keep everything current and my hope it that it only keeps improving.

On that note, here is an updated recipe that seems to be gaining some popularity.

Creamy Quinoa Salad -UPDATED

And, if you haven’t checked out my recipe page. Now is the time to do it. Revamped and now easier to read! Hopefully it will help you choose your dish based on what’s in your fridge.

Yummy Recipes

And now, I have to squeeze in some yoga before work. BUT, not before I leave you with an awesome photo. I’ve been saving this one for a while.

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Baby Spider Monkey in a paddling pool! HAHAHAHA.

I hope you’re all having wonderful days. And don’t forget to smile :) Love and a big hug- Ash

Delectably Delicious Honey Mustard Dressing

Making your own dressing can become complicated very quickly. You start with a few ingredients and keep adding more until your tongue gets beyond confused. When it comes to dressing, the simpler the better.

I happen to LOVE honey mustard dressing. But it wasn’t long before I found out all the crappy ingredients in the processed stuff (so annoying!). Luckily, this is one of those simple dressings that is absolutely delicious and super easy to make. Plus, all the ingredients are really great to keep around for other recipes.

I make a big salad every week and keep it in the fridge. Each morning a serving goes in tupperware with this on top. It makes for a really easy greens fix for lunch or just a snack. So try it out. SO YUMMY.

HoneyMustardDressing Continue reading

Workout Wednesday: 20-minute Total Body #6

Prelude: This day is always kind of a weird one. On one hand, 12 years ago was the first (and still the biggest) historical event to happen in my life. It was a horrific day that changed countless lives. On the other hand, America’s reaction, the coming together of a country, was pretty spectacular.

So today, I recognize the anniversary of the sadness and the loss but also of a galvanized country. Every September 11th, let’s remember what we’ve already been through and how we reemerged. Hold on to that unity. Have a chat with your neighbor, ask your coworker about their day, get excited about nothing with a child in your life … live it up, because you never know what will come tomorrow.

And on that note, I really hope that “living it up” includes doing a workout with me!

Here is our workout for this week. No weights or equipment required! Actually, you don’t even need much space for this. So clear some floor in you living room, dorm room, vacation bedroom, or even kitchen! There are no excuses to skip this one. When a workout uses only your body weight, you define the intensity.

Did you hear that? When a workout uses only your body weight, you define the intensity. Your workout is only as awesome as the effort you put in. And those muscles you’re working for don’t just create themselves. Sweat is your friend! Now get at it :)

20 minute total body 6

I hope you’re now panting and sweating. Have a happy day knowing you’ve already done your workout :)