fabulous friday #32

Happy Friday! We have a busy weekend in store around here — an end-of-summer pool party, a book-signing event for my dad’s book Wooden & Me, cheering on my Trojans, plus the usual errands and weekend catch-up activities!

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. My parents come home from Ireland today! I didn’t want to mention anything on here while they were gone, but I’ve been house-sitting/Murray-sitting for the past two weeks while they took a special anniversary vacation. From our brief email exchanges and Google Hangout chats, it sounds like they had an incredible trip and I can’t wait to hear all about their adventures and see their photos… and, of course, give them ginormous Welcome Home hugs!

lovebirds guinness

2. Early morning walks with Mr. Mur-dog! He is so excited about his walks, it warms my heart. His jaunty stroll down the sidewalk is so cute!

me and murray walk

I’m also loving my new running/walking shoes!

walking shoes

3. Big salads — I’ve been craving lots of veggies lately and these have been my go-tos for lunch and dinner lately. I’ve been throwing in some black beans and chickpeas for extra fiber and protein. Yum!

big salad

4. This fascinating article: “11 Things Humans Do that Dogs Hate.” I’ve definitely been guilty of a few of these {i.e. #2}… sorry, Mr. Mur! Now I know!

5. Just ordered this book on Amazon — HEADS YOU LOSE — and I’m really excited to delve into it this weekend! It’s a really neat twist on the murder mystery genre.

When collaborators Lutz and Hayward (former romantic partners) start to disagree about how the story should unfold, the body count rises, victims and suspects alike develop surprising characteristics, and sibling rivalry reaches homicidal intensity. Think “Adaptation” crossed with “Weeds.” Will the authors solve the mystery without killing each other first?

heads you lose

Questions of the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

fabulous friday #31 {dana’s visit to ventura!}

Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, writing time, cheering on my Trojans, and dinner with friends. What wonderful things are you up to?

Today I want to give you a recap of my sweet friend Dana’s visit to Ventura! We had so much fun, and the weather was gorgeous — I couldn’t resist sharing these photos with you!

Here are 5 highlights from Dana’s visit:

1. Fish & chips at the Harbor! We went to a local favorite, Andria’s {longtime readers may remember it as Gramps’s favorite, too!} We also spent some time walking around the Harbor, looking at the boats and listening to live music.

Dana fish and chips

harbor

2. Going to the beach! It was a relatively calm, quiet morning — seagulls were pretty much our only company as we stretched out on the sand. After soaking up the sunshine for an hour or so, we went over to The Deck and had lunch. Their fish tacos are amazing!

my feet and sand

Dana beachside

deck fish tacos

3. Soaking in the sunshine at the Santa Barbara Pier. It was a gorgeous Memorial Day and after a delicious lunch we walked all along State Street and ended up at the pier.

dana sb

me in sb

santa barbara

4. We met up with Erica at Food Truck Tuesdays! I ordered an amazing gourmet grilled cheese with herbed gouda, butternut squash, cranberry compote, and walnuts on 9-grain bread. {My taste buds are already craving fall, I guess!} We had so much fun talking and laughing until the event closed down. I was so busy talking and enjoying our visit that I neglected to take a photo, whoops! Though here’s an older photo of Food Truck Tuesdays:

food trucks

5. Murray was SO in love with Dana! He would come sit next to her and place one paw on her lap, like he was trying to hold her hand. We joked that he was “courting” her. I love this picture of the two of them!

dana and murray

Questions of the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

fabulous friday #30

Happy Friday, friends! What wonderful things are you up to today?

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. Being home with my sweet parents {who are celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary next week!} and of course Mr. Mur-dog! He is so stinkin’ cute, even in his cone/Elizabethan collar. Poor guy should be getting it off soon, fingers crossed!

murray conehead

2. This quote from Carolyn Hax:

“Even those of us who learn from our mistakes will also repeat some. This business of being human is basically a jalopy ride over potholes, which is why it’s so important to ride with the best people you know, wherever possible, and to make sure you take note of any particularly beautiful scenery.”

3. I can’t get enough of strawberries with vanilla Greek yogurt. To me, this tastes exactly like strawberries with whipped cream — BUT it’s even better because it’s healthy for you! I’ve been having this for dessert all week. And since it’s actually good for you, you could even have it for breakfast! 🙂

strawberries and yogurt

4. This beautiful and evocative short story written by my friend, Rebecca McKanna: “A Chain of Tiny Disasters” in Narrative Magazine.

5. First USC football game tomorrow! I am all decked out and ready to cheer on my team! #gotrojans #fighton

go trojans

Questions of the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

the USC game yesterday!! also, goals + meal plan for the week of 11/17

WOW. The USC game yesterday was one of the most thrilling football games I’ve ever watched! It was so amazing to be there, cheering on my alma mater alongside my family and friends. My parents and I spent the afternoon tailgating on campus with a bunch of my brother’s business school friends. It was great to meet them!

family tailgate

The game itself was a nail-biter and came down to the wire, but ultimately USC pulled out a victory over Stanford with a long field goal. WOO!! We were all jumping up and down and screaming with joy. It was so much fun! I hadn’t been back to a football game in the Coliseum since I graduated, and I forgot how amazing it is to be there. I love all the traditions: Traveler running down the sidelines, the marching band and spirit leaders and song girls, lighting the torch at the beginning of the fourth quarter… And I love how you become friends with the people sitting around you as all of you go crazy cheering on your team! We had a blast.

me and Ben at game

beat stanford!

after the game

We drove home from the game last night and arrived back at the house just in time to watch Lady Gaga host SNL … what did you guys think? I was pretty impressed. Lady Gaga isn’t in this skit, but I randomly loved Kenan’s character Mr. Senior … his “special report” telling people to STOP with early Christmas and enjoy Thanksgiving had me cracking up: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/weekend-update-mr-senior/n43347/

All in all, it’s been a whirlwind weekend! I can’t believe I’m already headed back up to the Bay tomorrow. Today has been a peaceful, quiet Sunday at home … went to church this morning, grocery shopped with my mom, and now we’re watching football while waiting for my Gramps to come over to dinner soon. My mom is spoiling me and making my favorite stuffed chicken breasts! YUM.

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
write 15 pages of new material
send out my novel chapters for Dec. fellows workshop
– submit fellowship application
– exercise at least twice
– finish reading Happier Endings: a meditation on life and death
connect with two friends

Here are my goals for the week of 11/17:
– write 15 pages of new material
– submit fellowship application
– exercise at least twice
– finish reading Happier Endings: a meditation on life and death
– connect with two friends

And here are some recipes I’m planning to try out: {if you can’t tell, I’ve already got Thanksgiving on the brain!}
healthy green bean casserole via The Lean Green Bean
sweet-filled acorn squash bowl via It’s Progression
greek yogurt biscuits and mini pumpkin cinnamon rolls via Two Peas & Their Pod
pumpkin and kale stew via The Pajama Chef

Questions of the day:

  • What were the highlights of your weekend?
  • What are your goals and menu plans for this upcoming week?

fabulous friday #2

Happy Friday, friends! And happy November! How was your Halloween? I had soooo much fun handing out candy to a ton of adorable trick-or-treaters. Lots of princesses, superheroes, and some amazing homemade costumes including a Medusa with hand-sewn snake hair! I hope your night was spooktastic and filled with more treats than tricks. 🙂

Here are five things I’m loving today:

1. Thanks to Robyn’s blog The Real-Life RD, I discovered this natural nutrition boost Vega One to add to my morning smoothies, and I’m loving it! I got the French Vanilla flavor and it’s very sweet, so I normally add just a quarter scoop to my morning smoothie. But it leaves me feeling satisfied for longer, and I love getting all kinds of plant-based nutrients and vitamins in my body first thing in the morning. It’s great way to wake up!

vega one

2. Two nights ago, I got to see the terrific writer Tom Barbash give a reading at San Jose State … I’ve been a fan of his work for a while, and I’m even more so now because he is such a warm, engaging and humble person. I am simultaneously devouring and savoring his new short story collection, Stay Up With Me. I’d highly recommend it!

3. Does anybody else watch the TV show Nashville? I got pulled into an episode the other night when I was drowsily getting ready for bed, and I’m now hooked! I guess I should have known this would be a show for me: after all, I love Nashville since it makes me think of Holly, I love country music, I love Connie Britton {Friday Night Lights!!} and I love romantic drama storylines, which the show has plenty of! Now I just need to get caught up on last season…

4. This evening I’m excited to hang out with a group of USC alumni to watch our Trojans play Oregon State … I’m all ready to cheer them on!

usc gear

5. I get to see my friend Dana on Sunday! We haven’t seen each other in a few weeks and I’m so looking forward to catching up. She always puts a smile on my face. Plus, I get to meet her sweet dog Heidi, which I am looking forward to!

Questions for the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?