Filed In: random thoughts

San Diego, CA

I love everything about California, but I think San Diego might be my favorite city yet. We went out there for a wedding in April, and it was such a fun trip. I want to go back right now! We stayed in Mission Beach, but the wedding was in La Jolla so we got to see a few different areas in San Diego. I’m still mad that we never rode the roller coaster at Belmont Park. The weather was absolutely gorgeous every day – as you can see by the bright blue skies in every picture.

On the last day we took a really late flight so that we could take the entire day to explore downtown San Diego. We walked alllll over that day – Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, USS Midway (we didn’t go in, just walked around it), and Little Italy. I’m kicking myself for not taking more pictures that day!

Next time we go back we are definitely going to Coronado Island. Any other areas we should visit next time?



Okay, I’m ready to go back now.

2014 Is Going to Be A Good Year

I almost decided not to do goals for 2014, but then I remembered how much they’ve helped me accomplish over the past few years that I thought it would be silly not to!  It’s keeps me sane and focused on the year ahead (what can I say, I’m definitely a type-A person). I know it’s almost March, but better late than never!

1. Buy a house.
2. Plan one fun date a month with my future hubby.
3. Take Chloe to puppy lessons.
4. Complete a sprint triathlon. (Just signed up for one on August 16th – official training starts March 1st!)
5. Take this online photography course.
6. Wash my face and floss my teeth every single night. (Yes, it’s very sad I don’t already do this. I’m lazy.)
7. Stop my out-of-control sugar cravings with The 21-Day Sugar Detox.
8. Do one random act of kindness a week.
9. Create a frame wall with pictures of every place my fiance and I have traveled to – together, of course.
10. Complete the 52-week money challenge (seen here) – I’ll save an extra $1,378 this year.

Also, I wanted to do a little recap of how I did will my 2013 goals (posted here).

1. Live a healthier lifestyle.  Definitely worked hard on this one, but I know I can do better!
– Eat out less often and absolutely no fast food
– No soda, less alcohol, more water
– Eat cleaner (no processed foods, less added sugars, less sodium, etc)
– Work-out at least 3x a week (lift weights at least once)
– Take vitamins daily

2. Learn to eat a more balanced vegetarian diet (or pescatarian, I guess). I also worked hard on this one too, but I can do so much better. I haven’t been eating balanced meals…at all.
– Research, research, research – like read this entire site for example
– Cut down on the carb intake (this is a huge one for me)
– Make sure I’m getting enough protein in every meal
– Log every meal in MyFitnessPal to track everything

3. Be “money healthy”. Yes! I definitely did really well this one. I even pulled my credit reports and scores at the beginning of the year and I’m in a great place (minus the big student loans, I guess).
– Create and stick to a monthly shopping budget (for entertainment, clothes, etc.)
– Save at least 5 figures this year
– Do more research on my student loans (consolidation?, etc)
– Put any extra income directly into savings (bonuses, tax return, etc)
– Purchase only items I “need”, and save the “wants” for when I hit my weight loss goals

4. Check off everything on this list!
Go to the dentist Completed. Love my new dentist and my teeth are now in great shape! 
Get my teeth bleached Started at the end of 2013, but just got a stronger bleach that I’m using now so it will be completed in the next few weeks.
Buy new glasses Done – love my Warby Parker’s!
– Read 20 books Ehh, not so much. I read maybe 2 total.
– Take a photography class (or two or three) Nope, still on my list!
– Do a few more shoots of friends/family to start a portfolio Nope – going on this year’s list though!
Refinish/repaint all of the living room furniture (coffee table, entertainment stand, and sofa table) Yep, everything but the entertainment stand. But we are going to sell that so I’m not going to re-finish it.
Try to sell some items on Craigslist or Ebay (once-worn shoes, nice coats, etc) I tried…but nothing sold. Whomp, whomp. I just gave it away to the Salvation Army instead. 

Goodness Gracious

Life has been a little lot bit crazy lately. I know in my last post I mentioned that I had more news, and well, I do. Evan and I got engaged in September. Yes, you read that correctly. September – and I’m just now posting about it. Oops!

It was the perfect proposal, and the best part was that he definitely pulled off a complete surprise (if you know me at all, this is practically impossible because I pick up on everything). He convinced me to take the pups on a walk on a random Sunday evening, you know, to “wear the dogs out”. I said okay even though I hadn’t been feeling well all day (ie: hangover). We usually just walk around a block or two, but he asked if we could go out to the lake front. We do that sometimes so I didn’t really think anything of it, except that Chloe wasn’t even walking by this point. She was being stubborn (oh, bulldogs) so I was actually carrying her by the time we got to the lake. We were about to turn around to walk back, and he pointed to the sky and said “oh, hey, look there are wish lanterns”. Next thing I know he is down on one knee asking me to marry him. I actually had to have him repeat the sweet things he said to me when he asked, because I was in such shock that I forgot to even listen! Ha. Of course I said “YES”! He stood up and then he begins to explain that he had his friends light off two wish lanterns for us at the exact moment we were walking along the lake front. It was so sweet! And then we walked over to where his friends were and we both lit one off together for the first time. It’s definitely going to be a tradition for us now. We’ll light them at our wedding and have guests makes wishes for our marriage together. Then also every year on our anniversary we’ll make wishes for the coming year. I am just so excited to marry this guy! He is my dream come true, best friend and partner for life. Love you Evan Michael Black!

Oh, and of course I looked horrible that night, so please excuse that. He could have at least hinted to me to shower that day – don’t ya think? 🙂


The wedding planning has begun, slowly but surely. We picked our venue and date – June 6, 2015. Since we have so much time we aren’t in a big rush to nail down all of the details. I asked my wedding party back in Oct/Nov (gonna do a separate post about how I asked them soon!), and we have a photographer. That’s about it for now! Here is what I’m thinking as far as the inspiration for our wedding- colors/feel/style, etc. Stay tuned for more details!

inspiration card

Our New Baby Girl

I know it has been quite awhile since I’ve posted, but it’s thanks to a new little furry cutie running around our apartment.

Meet Chloe – our newest family member. She is a white/cream french bulldog. We got her when she was 8 weeks, but she is growing so fast. She is a little over 4 months now, and has already doubled in size.



This is what most of my pictures turn out like. She is rarely sitting still and always on the move. It’s a miracle I got any shots in focus.


She also loves her brother Crosby. Actually, she is obsessed with him. He is just starting to like her these days. He couldn’t stand her at first. They play so much now, and I love it.


It has definitely been a little bit of an adjustment having a puppy around, but the extra work is so worth it. We love her so much! Also, my apologies for the puppy overload on instagram if you follow me. I’ve gotten a little carried away.


Can’t wait to share more exciting news in my next post!