Category Archives: Weekend Recaps

Weekend Getaway to Idyllwild: Where to Stay, Play & Explore

Last weekend, my husband and I decided to seize the holiday weekend and take a quick road trip together. We both have been super busy and have travel coming up, so we welcomed the thought of getting to spend time together in a relaxing setting.

Having done so many road trips around California, I started looking for a place we’d never been to before. I wound up finding a place we had never even heard of called Idyllwild. Located a few hours from busy San Diego life, Idyllwild is a little town nestled in the mountains with a population of under 4,000 people. It sounded like the perfect getaway spot!

Where to Stay.

After doing some research, I booked us a suite at The Grand Idyllwild Lodge. Described as the boutique luxury lodge, the hotel has a modern but woodsy kind of feel to it. It was a a bit pricier than I usually try to find in hotels, but we had a very positive experience there. It’s owned by a husband & wife team that live on the premises, and you can tell that they put a lot of care and thought into the lodge.

Idyllwild is the kind of place where most of the businesses are mom-and-pop type of places, which I love. We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and got settled into our beautiful room – dubbed Suite Ambiance.

We brought a bottle of champagne with us, which we popped immediately. I also brought some crackers and snacks to nosh on, and we turned on the electric fireplace, enjoyed our bubbly and watched part of a movie. It was one sweet Friday happy hour!

I adored our bathroom at The Grand Idyllwild Lodge, which had a Japanese style soaking tub and dual rain head spa shower. The bathrooms in my house are older, so I get serious bathroom envy where I stay at places with awesome bathrooms.

The Grand Idyllwild Lodge also has a small gym and sauna, and guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast every day. We were served French toast with fruit (+ chicken sausage for him) on Saturday morning.

Other accommodation options that caught my eye:

Idyllcreek A-Frame Vacation Cabin. Can we talk about how cute this house is?!

Bluebird Cottage Inn. These little cottages are more budget friendly.

Creekstone Inn. I was intrigued by the above “tiny magical cabin” but Creekstone has a number of rooms plus a few other cabins available.

Where to Drink.

After our hotel room happy hour, we headed out for a second happy hour in town. We stopped at Middle Ridge Winery, a cute sister-and-brother owned tasting gallery (tasting room + art gallery).

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Three Sisters Waterfall Hike + An Afternoon of Wine in Temecula {Weekend Recap}

Hi friends!

Hope that your week is off to a nice start! Did you have Monday off of work for Presidents Day? I had off from my publicist job, and actually didn’t do work for any of my jobs whatsoever. I think I only answered one email the entire day, which was nice! My long weekend was a great one, so today I’m rewinding it back a few days.

On Saturday while my hubby studied for an MBA exam all day, I took care of a lot of freelance & blogging stuff. I also ran a couple of errands, including a trip to Michaels to pick up a frame for a new addition to my travel-themed workout room.

The artist of this San Diego Modern Map Art was nice enough to send me a print, and I think it goes perfectly in my workout room. The room is full of canvas art and memorabilia of my travels, and now I have art in there of my current beloved city, San Diego!

Sunday first thing, I took my pup for a long walk along the coast on what was a misty morning. Afterwards, I got ready for the day & prepped some food for a picnic we were planning on having in Temecula wine country. I made Greek pasta salad and packed some healthy snacks, including hummus with carrots, apple and chickpea crackers.

We headed out to Temecula to meet up with my cousin Michelle and her boyfriend. Michelle’s birthday is coming up, so we had a celebratory afternoon together sipping wine and hanging out. First up, we stopped at Weins Cellars. Known for their big reds, Weins has a great outdoor area to picnic at, so after we tasted there, we nabbed a bottle and ate outside.

Afterwards, we headed over to Lorimar Winery, where my cousin is a wine member. I’ve been to Lorimar a few times recently, and they seem to always have interesting red blends on their tasting menu. Lorimar also has a great outdoor space for hanging out, along with a food truck if you’re hungry & live music on the weekends.

We had a lot of fun relaxing in Temecula, but then again I always enjoy myself in wine country. I mean what’s not to love? Even during this time of the year when the vineyards are looking scarce and the weather can be on the chillier side, Temecula always proves to be a great time.

Hydrating with pHenOH 7.4

After a laid-back, wine-filled Sunday, my Monday off went in a different direction. After taking my pup to the dog park for some playtime, Adam and I headed out to the California countryside to the town of Descansco for a hike to Three Sisters Waterfalls.

This was only my second time doing this hike. The other time I did it was almost exactly four years ago, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. The other time I visited Three Sisters, the San Diego area was in a serious drought, whereas this time, we’ve gotten a ton of rain lately. I had high hopes for raging waterfalls, and I was not disappointed!

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Appreciating Family Time in San Diego {Weekend Recap}

Hi there!

I haven’t done a fun little weekend recap in awhile, and since I had a great weekend a couple days back, it seems like a good idea to share what I was up to with you guys.

Taught yoga on Friday with this view!

After having a great day of meetings and health coaching sessions on Friday, I kicked off my weekend with a long walk at the park with my pup, then made some veggie orzo soup (my favorite lately!) to enjoy with my hubby. It was the kind of day that feels productive and busy, yet fun at the same time.

After taking care of some work and cleaning my entire house on Saturday, the family-filled part of my weekend began!

My cousin Michelle, who lives a few hours north in Long Beach, drove down to spend the night at my house. I made homemade pizza and farro Greek salad, and we drank wine, caught up, and watched crime shows. We both are into murder mysteries, which she refers to as “murder porn.” My husband is always rolling his eyes at my TV and movie picks – but can’t stop, won’t stop!

Sunday morning, we headed into Del Mar to meet up with my cousin Noelle and her friend Courtney. Noelle and I grew up together in Jersey, and she recently moved to the San Francisco area. She flew down for a long weekend, and I was happy to get to finally see her! We hadn’t seen each other since Christmas 2015.

We first grabbed brunch at Snooze, where I had the most indulgent pancakes. They were sweet potato pancakes topped with homemade caramel, candied pecans and ginger butter. I only ate one pancake out of fear of a serious sugar coma, but they were OUT OF THIS WORLD MY FRIENDS! Snooze had a lot of other dessert-ish pancakes that sounded heavenly, including one that had some sort of chocolate ganache topping.

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Easy Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza

Hey, hey!

Last Saturday’s sunset

How was your weekend? Mine was a good one that was full of sports!

My husband and I went to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which was neat. I’m not a huge golf person but find sporting events of pretty much any kind fun – plus it was my first time at the Torrey Pines golf course, and the views were beautiful as expected!

I also watched a lot of tennis, as the Australian Open came to a close. Watching the Williams sisters compete against each other in the finals was inspiring – I mean, they are such badass female athletes! – so on Sunday my hubby and I headed to the tennis courts nearby to get in a workout together. We’re not technically all that great at tennis, but we have fun and get some exercise, so that’s all I really care about.

Besides a weekend full of sports, my weekend was also filled with good food, as per usual. For dinner one night we enjoyed Mediterranean flatbread pizza, and today I’m sharing the recipe with you guys!

These flatbreads are a great healthy recipe idea for this weekend’s Super Bowl – and they’re ready in 20 minutes flat! Since I love to make a bunch of appetizers & finger foods to graze on during the big game, I tend to go for recipes that are easier to whip up. Otherwise, the game’s starting and I’m running around the kitchen like a madwoman trying to finish cooking. Anyone else ever been there on Super Bowl Sunday? 

The flatbreads center around Mediterranean diet-centric ingredients like baby arugula, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion, and olive oil that give these babies a ton of flavor, a nice dose of produce, and a bit of healthy fat without being calorically heavy.

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Thanksgiving Weekend 2016: Hiking, Relaxing & Feeling Grateful!

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” – D. Waitley
iron-mt-2

If you’re in America or Canada, I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I also hope that your weekends were full of fun and relaxation like mine was! Today I’m backing it up to the start of my glorious 4-day weekend.

We decided to stay in town for the long weekend. My hubby had off for the week from his MBA schooling, so with little work on our agendas, we were free to do whatever we wanted!

iron-mt-1

On Thanksgiving I love to do an outdoor workout with my little family before the holiday festivities. By going hiking, we all get a workout in and get to enjoy the outdoors together! This year we elected to head to Iron Mountain in Escondido.

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I didn’t even realize it until looking at my Thanksgiving 2015 post, but we hiked Iron Mountain last Thanksgiving too… It must be our go-to holiday hike!

iron-mt-5

We’ve done the hike a couple of times before, and knew it’d be a good workout without being exhausting. It was a great day weather-wise, and while lots of people were out and about around the trail, it thinned out once we started the hike up the mountain.

Processed with Snapseed.

Thanksgiving happened to fall on another occasion — Harley’s 6th birthday! She was born (on or around) Thursday, so she was spoiled with a new toy and a big treat.

harleys-6th-birthday

I feel like it’s crazy that we’ve had Harley since she was 4 months old and she’s now 6 years old, but at the same time, I don’t remember what life was like before we had her. Since we rescued her, she’s been this woman’s best friend, and I love having her as my hiking partner, foot warmer, velcro dog while I’m cooking (I’m messy and tend to drop a lot of food!) and so much more. She’s as rambunctious and energetic as ever, and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

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She hates posing for photos. 

iron-mt-dancer-pose

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The Solana Beach Triathlon + A Very Special Birthday {Weekend Recap}

Hi friends! How was your weekend?

SB traithlon logo

Mine was a special one because my husband turned 30! Since I had surprised him with an early birthday trip to Mexico in June, his actual birthday was pretty low-key. A had signed up for a triathlon sprint in the beach town of Solana Beach with a friend of his, so his birthday morning started off with a very early alarm.

SB triathlon

The Solana Beach triathlon consists of a 1/4 mile Pacific Ocean swim + 9 mile bike ride + 3 mile run. The event benefitted the Challenged Athletes Foundation: Operation Rebound, which is a program for American military personnel, veterans and first responders with physical challenges. It was a pretty fitting cause for my former Marine to support!

SB triathlon-1

A has really gotten into cycling lately, and has been in serious beast bike mode going for 50 mile bike rides! He also has routinely gone on runs ever since I’ve known him, so while he knew that the sprint triathlon was very doable for him, it was more about challenging himself in a race and pushing through to get his best time.

SB triathlon-3

The race was fun because I got to hop around the course to see my hubby in each leg of the event and snap a few photos. The wife of our friend that competed with A is my close friend, so her and I watched our guys race together.

triathlon-3

A had set a goal of doing the triathlon sprint in 1 hour + 5 minutes, including transition times to switch shoes/gear/get his bike, etc. In the end, he came in at 1 hour & 4 minutes, so he was happy with his efforts. He did the swim in 10 minutes, the run in 22 minutes, and the cycling portion in 28 minutes.

triathlon swimming

Watching the race, I was thinking that the swim didn’t look all that tough, but A actually said that he found the swim to be the hardest part. 1/4 of a mile doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m sure it feels longer when you’re out in the open ocean pushing as hard as you can!

 

triathlon

I was inspired watching people of all ages and abilities participate in the race, and was proud of my hubby for a job well done. This was A’s very first triathlon, and I think it was a pretty sweet way for him to ring in a new decade!

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The Best Day Date Ever

Happy Friday friends!

What’s up for your weekend? I’m heading up to LA later today to hang out with my cousin and stay at her place, and then tomorrow I’ll be attending IDEA World to workout with Jillian Michaels and see the latest & greatest in the fitness world! If any of you are attending IDEA as well, definitely shoot me an email or let me know in the comments below. I love meeting fellow fitness enthusiasts & bloggers!

Farmers Market tomatoes

Backing it up to last weekend, today I want to recap my date last Saturday with my hubby — AKA the best day date ever. We decided to head south into the area we used to live in in San Diego. First up on our agenda was hitting up my favorite farmers’ market, the Little Italy Mercato.

Farmers Market Flowers

I used to go this market nearly every weekend when we lived nearby, and for good reason: It’s awesome! When we got to the market, I was immediately reminded why I frequented it so much for years. From fresh green juice and organic seasonal produce to freshly baked cookies and gelato, this market is a foodie’s dream. Some vendors also offer crafts, decor and clothing. There are even booths geared towards pet owners.

We walked around the entire market, did some taste testing and purchased a couple of things: including the above pictured hydrangeas, the below watermelon cucumbers (how cute right!!) and micro greens…

Farmers Market greens

…along with locally made honey. This is the first time I’ve ever found cinnamon honey, and I was pretty excited about it! I love cinnamon and I use honey daily, so when the woman who makes it said that her favorite way to eat it is on pancakes, my pancake loving self had to nab a jar.

Farmers Market honey

After we got our market fill, we left downtown and headed into the area we used to live in, Mission Valley, to visit Mission Trails Park. This was my favorite park for the 3+ years that I lived just a few minutes down the road from it.

Mission Trails biking

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A Few of My Favorite Summertime Things {Weekend Recap}

Well, it’s official… I’m obsessed with watermelon strawberry smoothies again.

strawberry watermelon smoothie

I’ve made it three times in the last week, and it’s seriously so refreshing! Can’t stop, won’t stop my friends. 

Besides slurping watermelon smoothies, here are some other favorite summertime things that I did this weekend:

raft in pool

I blew up a raft and floated around in my pool. This is actually the very first time I’ve gone in the pool this year! We were having pool issues for a few months that finally got resolved a few weeks ago – just in time for the summer heat to arrive. Having a pool definitely requires some maintenance, and I love when I get a chance to actually enjoy it. It felt lovely to soak up the sunshine from my pool after a long hiatus.

On that note, I’m definitely going to bring back my “work from the pool” afternoons at least one day a week moving forward so that I can take advantage of owning a pool more often!   

Cherry protein smoothie bowl

Smoothie bowl eating. I definitely eat smoothies year round, but my habit has been kicked into overdrive and I’ve been making them almost every day. Last weekend I made this cherry banana protein smoothie bowl. And speaking of cherries…

Cherries at the beach

…bring on the fresh in-season sweet cherries! I nabbed my first bag of cherries last week and have been munching on them ever since.

Calavera Lake-June 16

Hit the trails. Since it was too hot inland to hike any major trails with my pup, we just headed to our favorite nearby park – Lake Calavera – for an hourlong outdoor exercise session.

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Dining at The Red Door + The End of a Chapter {Weekend Recap}

Hello, hello!

How was your weekend? My friend Danielle was in town staying with me the end of last week into the weekend, so I was busy hosting and having fun!

Danielle visit-June 2016

Danielle and me

Here are the highlights of our time together:

Eat. I’d been wanting to visit The Red Door for a long time, and I finally got the chance to have dinner there. The restaurant offers a menu centered around local, organic, sustainable & ethically sourced, seasonal cuisine… so it pretty much couldn’t be more my type of place!

The Red Door space

Image via The Red Door

We both first enjoyed a glass of Gold Crush chardonnay, which was so rich and buttery. I’ve been all about buttery chardonnay lately and will definitely be nabbing bottles of it as soon as I find it around! We split a couple of dishes: First up was their vegan nachos, which had this awesome cashew cheese sauce and local avocado, along with their lemon ricotta stuffed squash blossoms.   The Red Door-1We also split this awesome zucchini pasta dish:

The Red Door-2

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Apricot Almond Energy Bites [vegan, gf]

Hello, hello!

I hope that you had a lovely weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing except for some power outage shenanigans. My hubby was away for the Marine Corps, and on Friday night my pup and I went for a long sunset walk along the beach. We came home to the power being out and I was unable to get into my house. Let’s just say I had to get creative and borrow a neighbor’s garbage can to hop onto and climb over my fence to get to a spot where I could let myself in. It was eventful! I was pretty proud of myself for being resourceful. 🙂

My Friday evening beach view

My Friday evening beach view

Besides that little bit of craziness, it was a low-key weekend. My cousin visited from Long Beach and stayed with me. We took Harley for a little hike at a nearby park, and went out for Mediterranean food, wine and live music on Saturday night. It was nice getting some quality cousin time in!

Another thing I did over the weekend? Apricot Almond Energy Bites

Whip up a batch of these energy bites… and proceed to eat four of them for lunch! While I usually make energy bites with dates, I’m definitely loving this change-up of using apricots instead.

I’ve been eating fresh apricots since they’re in season right now, but for this recipe, dried fruit is used. The stickiness of the dried fruit is the glue that holds these energy balls together. apricot almond energy bites-1

So just what else is in these bites?

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