July 4th Weekend Recap

So I planned to have this post up for yesterday, to recap the weekend, but I had so much fun all weekend relaxing that I didn’t have to go blog. So here goes:

Thursday night right after work, I met up with my good friend Mason at his house to go for a hike/run in Peter’s Canyon. It was a scorching hot 85 degrees out at 5pm.  So it was definitely hotter than we anticipated.

I really enjoy hiking and working out with friends because it’s such a nice way to catch up and squeeze a workout in. And it’s nice to encourage each other to push harder and not give up.

There were these two major hills on this hike that were great workouts. I was too busy sweating to take pictures of the hills, maybe next time I go. I definitely want to go back here. And my favorite part of the hike was this bench and the inspirational quote.

NsfuKk0BSO98aZu3gvxBn9fOQqhgDT-IlLVUFg0v9Ds=w1123-h843-no As you can see in this picture, California is really dry right now, the drought is in full effect. A reservoir that used to be full is now completely empty. 😦

After our hike I went home and had dinner with the roomies and dropped one roomie off at the Anaheim bus station. It was a great start to a long holiday weekend.

Friday morning we all planned to go stand up paddle boarding. We found a place in Balboa Island called, wait for it, Island PaddleBoard. 🙂

VMEkWnMPlJvbmNxRRi08xEiePLX5_B9Sl4QDikor8Jw=w717-h955-noI took a picture of this cute sign:

rqUvIuBu1rTjIE6g_tDV63NbGAuah7nE2PDbrMOQI7E=w717-h955-noWe had a great experience with them. They were friendly and the boards were great. I’d highly recommend this place if you’re ever in the area. The island is so cute and is surrounded by fancy house and boats. We even saw seals on a dock just lounging.


Here is our group of 10. It was several people’s first time and everyone did great. No one fell in, but there were a few close calls, but I won’t mention any names 🙂

BhML5hre9oSWSf7XbhHDt9P6Hf4FV9fofuX1IuaI0TY=w960-h720-noAfter an hour an a half of paddle boarding (which came to $27, super affordable) we returned our boards and walked around the town, which is so cute and quaint. It was my first time to Balboa Island and I loved it.


We ate at Crocker’s which was really good. -mD0Mq-O0DGdORVfAbDepA3G-EBrzMoOgruunkTf_sw=w717-h955-noSide note, how cute is that little boy contemplating life?

Hot dogs on July 4th weekend? Of course!ia9zEnpSNYIZ1tb_O41ddOhyQGfipB1qiubVJx_1bL4=w717-h955-nomCk6GampC0yBLdG33EA2k-JUM4WLvAX2uJt07VDeQHw=w1123-h843-noHere was our lunch spot view. Not bad.



We walked around and wandered into a few shops. I really liked this one:uZ7Li2uEVhNsC3r3iWA3DqOKAhoJvQaUX153-9upXB8=w1123-h843-no

-1Q-9gXB-hDKCbzb8V4-XiGUPIa7BoOAtg-nMRpAYCA=w717-h955-noThere were so many fun arts and crafts for sale.

lauCiQooul3iQ1sJdHStfZrzw3Oj3IadPMfVnqD9RKM=w717-h955-noAnd I picked up two journals as gifts for some friends. I love a good journal. 7JfC-rRFfzBOYmPf9lbM2yle5PgojoQLA-ay_zywUTc=w717-h955-no

T_GqjrhuEAti7ER2tGgHn1o2WRexmR1a_y4M1pol-LE=w717-h955-noAfter lunch we walked to this deliciousness:


0GYNY5HnAhYGRN4n8OpZvuRQ5NOZontLLoyLFMtIZm0=w717-h955-noI got a chocolate covered banana with coconut and it was amazing!

yFp3GslHVwsr9ApTS-nFoJzj3jFU0hVoGtv41sj1ORc=w717-h955-noAfter that we walked back to our car and saw these beautiful flowers which I also posted on Instagram.

MLazPFXwSN3Fawkal-g368gotfiaPkQEZysI-c-6IiA=w1123-h843-noWe picked up some food on the way home, swam at our pool and called it a day.

Saturday July 4th – We had all our roommates’ families over and grilled out and hung out for lunch. It was nice to have everyone together. We lounged around all day and at night went to go see Inside Out. (This was my second time seeing it, and I still loved it. I was more exhausted than I thought though, and took a little nap during the movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that!)

These are actually the only pictures I took that day. I love fruit and our spread was so pretty.fSRCaDhX6swRXgbDHYEqPXgsIhj97UG6TxNYDFdaBbU=w717-h955-no

ERNZGdixUm7UKXMp0Q_cJenpKbrkUnzxg-raQFC6gKc=w1123-h843-noSunday morning I ran 9 miles on the Huntington Beach boardwalk. It was nice and cloudy when I started and got sunny by noon. I was glad to be done with that. I’ve been slacking on my training for my half marathon, but yesterday was officially two weeks until the race. So I’m glad to be back on track finally!

After running for a little over 2 hours I was hungry. (I often think about what I’m going to eat once I’m done. Whatever motivates me to run, right?) My brother’s girlfriend called and invited me to meet them for lunch with her mom and my mom. My mom moved here from Texas last week and it’s been so nice to have her close by again 🙂

After lunch we went home and I showered and went to get my nails done with my mama. I don’t usually get my nails done, so it was a fun treat to spend time with my mom and do something girly together. I’m hoping my nails will last for two weeks for my cousin’s wedding that is coming up.

I picked up Dave from the airport after being away at work for 3 weeks. I’m so happy he’s back. We have so many fun summer activities planned!

Woo! What a long post huh? All that to say, it was a great weekend full of activity. I wish every weekend was 3 days. I think we’d all be a lot happier and relaxed. 🙂 Happy Tuesday friends!


Hometown Hidden Gems

I was asked by Turo (formerly RelayRidesto create a post of hometown hidden gems and for the last year I called Santa Monica, California home. Lucky me, because Santa Monica is a gorgeous beach town. Here are my favorite local spots to eat and drink. Be sure to check them out and I’d love to hear your favorite Santa Monica eateries.

Pono Burger 

Is an adorable little hut that is located on Broadway and 9th Street. They use organic farm fresh ingredients. If you go, I highly recommend you order a milk shake. My favorite is the strawberry one. Here is their menu. 



Swingers is down the block from Pono Burger. It’s a great little diner that is open until 2 and 3 am. They have a huge menu. My favorite thing on the menu is their Edwin’s pasta which is farfalle pasta with 2 organic scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and parmesan cheese. It’s simple but oh so good. My boyfriend also orders the California omelet which has alfalfa sprouts, avocado, bacon, 3 organic eggs,  and jack cheese. They also have fun cupcake flavors.


Shop House


Shop House Kitchen is the Asian version of Chipotle; it is the same company. You start with noodles, rice, or salad. Then you add a meat or tofu. Then vegetables, curry based sauce, and garnishes. You can also ask for samples if you feel overwhelmed. It is really, really good, you HAVE to try it! My boyfriend and I have spent more nights than I can count here. It’s also 3 blocks from Palisades Park which is a great place to catch the sunset.

Palisades Park in Santa Monica

The Funnel Mill 

is a fancy coffee and tea shop that is on the same street as Pono Burger and Swingers. My boyfriend’s favorite drink is the iced dark chocolate truffle coffee. It’s a bit pricey but he will tell you it’s well worth it.

Cafe Crepes 


Cafe Crepes is located on 3rd Street and Broadway. It’s at the end of the 3rd Street Promenade shopping area, and at the start of the Santa Monica mall. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. I always love sitting outside under the umbrellas.

Every time my boyfriend and I go here we get the same thing. We get the breakfast special of 3 eggs (scrambled), sausage, and cinnamon sugar crepes, which costs $10. Check out the menu for yourself. It’s a great place for brunch.



I was introduced to Turo through an email. It’s a peer to peer rental car service that is available for airport rental cars along with other rental car companies. You can rent a car by day or on a weekly basis. You can even rent out your own car and decide who gets it and when.

So if you’re in Santa Monica or other awesome cities and looking to rent a car, check them out for more details!

Foodie Friday: Featuring Damn Delicious’ Dumplings

The other day I was on Pinterest and found a yummy looking recipe for dumplings. And through this pin I discovered a food blog called Damn Delicious with a huge amount of recipes that all look great! I  am so excited I found this blog and will be trying so many more of her recipes.

The first one I tried was the dumplings. Her pictures of her meals and ingredients are so professional and make the food look even more appetizing.

Check out her website for the recipe!

I made these dumplings with a few ingredients missing with the addition of others, (which is the beauty of it all, is that you can customize it how you would like) and it was so easy and so so good! There will definitely be more dumplings in my future. Thank you for sharing this with us Damn Delicious!

Source: Damn Delicious