Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: hike

#30daysofdresses – day 12

Where in I get to spend an entire day with one of my best friends from college…

(Technically, this is day 13 but I have yet to get a photo from the work event for day 12’s dress, so yeah.)

Saturday morning we were up and out fairly early to pick up Jo & L. Jo and I have been friends since freshman year at college in Boston. (Also, she sang at my wedding, so she’s kind of a big deal.) They were visiting LA this weekend and had all day Saturday to hang with me.

We took them up to a short 3m hike in Malibu to see the ocean view through the haze, back to our house to drop off the dog, and out to Plan Check Kitchen for lunch (one of my fav burgers ever). Jo thanked me for “not killing” her on the hike and we reminisced about living together and tried to catch up on all the people we know collectively from that time. We ate burgers and drank Mexican Cokes out of glass bottles. We talked about music and our parents. We filled each other in on work, school and daily lives. We shared our dreams of relocating, living near friends, getting out of the cities we’ve been in.

We took the afternoon off – H gave Carter another bath and I vacuumed and finally put down some diatomaceous earth on the throw rug to combat the fleas (note: now 3 days later, this seems to have worked #boom). We showered and napped.

Back on the road, we picked up Jo and L and took them to Wurstkuche for beer and brats. When we walked into the back a dj was spinning, the lights were low and the room noise was loud, full of people talking and eating. “Welcome to the quintessential LA restaurant,” I said to Jo. She ended up being too full from lunch to finish her brat. L ate two brats and drank two beers. He was a fan. We spotted the cool chick who cuts our hair and waved to her from our table. H came back from getting a glass of water smiling – and pulled his wedding band out of his shirt pocket – where it has been “lost” for at least 6 months.

Jo and I traded stories of ruining things because we’re clumsy. She spilled a bottle of carrot juice and also dumped a cup of coffee into their bed. I said, “Pen. Everything I own is covered in pen.” H nodded in agreement.

Our last stop was to an improv show – can’t beat $10 for an hour of laughter. That’s where we took the photo above. It was awesome to be with someone who’s known me for so long.

When we said goodbye, we hugged tightly and whispered good things to each other. I’m so proud of where she’s going and what she’s doing – and happy she’s happy. Lindsey said it best in her post I linked to this weekend on friendship:

“I’m always amazed by how swiftly we slip back into comfortable patterns and by how easy it is to be around each other, because so much of our history is known and doesn’t need to be explained.”

It’s been two years since we saw each other and it felt just like it used to when she’d walk into my bedroom (which was the living room of our 1-bed split) and sit at the table, eating breakfast and talking my ear off about how she couldn’t find her shoes… or keys… or homework.

I didn’t know it then, but the friendships I made in college truly shaped who I am today.
Love you Jo

Weekend Away




We went up to Ojai, CA this weekend for a wedding. Even though Ojai is only 90min north of Los Angeles, we decided to go up on Friday and spend the extra night away from home.

This turned out to be a perfect idea.

Not only did we need the change of scenery and time together, but our little adventure was so much fun. It was relaxing, easy-going, and really just fun. While our honeymoon was jam-packed with craziness, this weekend was more inline with how I believe we should vacation: pick a few things we want to do, and then wander.

-Drive up to Ojai from Malibu, CA. Gorgeous drive up the coast.
-Check into adorable hotel. We stayed at the Capri Hotel. I didn’t snap a photo, but our room is pictured above. Friends who also stayed thought it wasn’t great, but I loved it. The only issue was super thin walls (and the obnoxious kid next door). We had room 108, which the manager said is he favorite.
-Nap for a bit. Kiss for a bit. Lounge.
-Head out for dinner. We walked the main street (less than 1 mile long) and chose to eat at the Ojai Pizza place. It was clearly a local joint. I don’t recommend. For what we ate and paid, it wasn’t worth it. But we weren’t interested in a fancier dinner being on a budget, so it worked fine for us.
-Eat a oreo ice cream
-Go back to the room and pick out a movie. Try the hot tub first. It is luke warm at best. We last no more than 8 minutes in it and go back to the room. I brew chamomile tea.
-Watch Alien, the 1979 science-fiction horror film on VHS. When H realizes he has to rewind the tape, he has a weird momentary flash-back to being in middle school. It’s been on my mind to watch this entire trilogy and low and behold, the hotel had a copy.

So for the extra $200 to be there a day early, eat crappy local pizza, and watch a movie on VHS, maybe it doesn’t seem like it was worth it – but after having a roommate for the past 5+ months, it was exactly the quality time I needed with H.

-I wanted to hike, but H forgot to pack sneakers (of course). He was exhausted anyways, so we walked into town instead. Ate breakfast at Bonnie Lu’s Country Cafe. Again, nothing remarkable. Certainly not our local joint here in LA. The staff was extremely friendly, but the food was meh. It was so nice to just sit and chat with H about work and his ideas about stuff he’s doing for grad school.
-On the walk back we picked up a card and a toothbrush (I forgot mine). We wandered through a few thrift stores. We wanted to window shop more but walked the wrong way, distracted by another issue, and ended up back at the hotel.
-We stopped by a garage sale that had a super old radio – the kind with dials and warm speaker sounds. It was $110. We didn’t splurge on it, but we definitely contemplated it.
-Back at the hotel, we reviewed the trail maps and headed out to the Old Baldwin Rd trailhead.
-Walked a loop for about an hour. It was slow and easy (again, H didn’t have shoes), kind of boring but better than nothing. Would love to go back and do a ridge hike.
-Back at the hotel again, H naps. I play around on Instagram and try napping, but the noisy kid next door doesn’t stop ALL DAY. It is super overcast or else I could sit by the pool. Finally around 2:30pm it clears and the sun comes out.
-Sit by the pool for 45 min. The sun is strong and the pool area is quiet. Bliss.
-Get ready for the wedding and head over
-Enjoy the wedding, dancing, food and friends.

-We eat breakfast in the lobby – they provide some small items, coffee and tea. I have a hot chocolate.
-Shower, pack up and head out.
-I drive so H can do work in the car
-I am super sleepy. We make good time home and I promptly take a nap for the rest of the afternoon.

It may seem boring but this weekend really was just what I needed. I thrive on quality time with H and easy-going traveling to new places like that. I love to wander, eat, window shop, nap, relax and read. The weekend had everything I could’ve wanted (well, more sun and quiet room, but close enough). Really happy we went.

Monthly Nutshell – February 2013

The shortest month and yet, the longest month. The I-can’t-believe-I-live-here-and-wear-flip-flops month. My birthday month.

Carter was sick.

We hosted our own Superbowl party of 3.

In a rousing coffee hang with a friend. I named my need for indulgence. (Just writing that now makes me feel giddy and guilty at the same time).

My feelings of absolute shit peaked. Or more so, hit bottom.

Took a day off from work…and asked for help.

Started reading Imajica and I love it.

Listened to a podcast about bliss and started to feel better. It was encouraging.

We celebrated 7 months and 7 days on Valentine’s day. I sent everyone hedgehogs.

We accidentally hiked 11 miles.

We celebrated valentine’s day with a scavenger hunt, drinks and Mexican food. H made heart-shaped pancakes.

Met another friend for lunch and then went to her house for dinner, where I ate the craziest carrot cake ever.

I turned twenty-nine. Happy Birthday. And had the most amazing night with our friends since our wedding.

For my own birthday gift, I hired a stylist and threw out a ton of old clothing.

My sister accepted a job at Menchie’s. I finally felt better, basking in the sun. And we played the Imagine Dragons record on loop.

Sundays Are For (Week 19)

…10 mile hikes.


The plan was to do the Westridge-Canyonback trail from the fire road that comes off Mulholland Drive, west of the 405. We were told it was about 7.5 miles and that we could have the dogs off-leash.

After an odd hour of rushing around from 7:30am-8:30am, we were out the door; H, my sister and Carter Cash, driving the 25min to the trail-head. No big deal. Everyone we were meeting (8 people, 3 doggies) was on time, and we started up the trail by 9:10am.

It was cool in the shade, warm in the sun, a perfect day to be hiking. As you can see from the photo above, the air was clear and we could see for miles. The path goes up, up, up and then starts to head down into a valley.

Problem number one started with having 4 dogs, only mine being on-leash, weaving in and out of all the people. The next problem was worse – mountain bikers. People whizzing by at top speed on huge mountain bikes, around blind corners, and not enough room on the path for all ELEVEN of us (and FOUR DOGS) to move out of the way. It was nerve-wracking. Third problem? TICKS. Lots of freakin’ ticks. Carter was staying mostly on the path since we kept him on his leash, and he still had more than four on him at a time, one already lodged in the underside of his little ear. F-ing gross.

And while that was all frustrating, the worst part came when we just…kept…walking. We were all getting tired, it was getting late, and there didn’t seem to be an end in sight. Clearly we’d gone more than 4miles out, and if this was a 7.5m hike out-and-back, what the hell? If it was 7 miles OUT and 7 miles BACK, we were going to be in trouble soon – our little family definitely didn’t have enough food or water to go 14 miles.

One guy had a GPS and started telling another guy we’d already gone 5.6 miles and still had at least 2 miles to go. WTF?

That’s when I decided we should turn around. Luckily, a few other people were ready to turn back, and we split up as a group.

And then it got worse. With basically no water, mid-day sun and a trek uphill, the return 5 miles was a total bitch. We ended up letting the dog off-leash b/c he was dragging – I mean, just wilting in the sun. A few times he just stopped, wobbled, and laid down in a patch of shade. I was right there with him. We were a sorry bunch.

The good news is, we knew where to go and how much further it would be. And our pup is only 40lbs, so worst case we’d carry him. It didn’t come to that, but it was tough.

As H said this morning, it was a poor choice for our family time.

When we finally got back to the fire road, luck have it, there was a water fountain and restrooms. I drank an entire 32oz Nalgene and then refilled it for H. We all sat in the shade a bit, waiting for the group who went to the end point. Once we were all watered and reunited, energies spiked, and the last mile downhill was cake.

Afterwards we all decided to buy some grillin’ and fixin’ foods and meet back at a friend’s house. The rest of the afternoon was spent limping around his kitchen, stuffing our faces full of burgers and sides, and comparing sunburns.

While I probably won’t do that hike again (H said it was boring, I thought it was nerve-wracking) I’m glad we went. It makes for a good story. And it taught me to always check the trail info for yourself and plan accordingly.

Lesson learned.

Sundays Are For (Week 15)



My sister and her friend just finished a 6 day road trip from NY to CA. She brought her car and her pet rabbits to our part of the country, solidifying her move here even more.

And so today we took her road-trip buddy hiking in Griffith Park. It rained over night, so the trail was wet, but the skies were unbelievably clear. It was fantastic.

Labor Day Hiking

Today we did a quick hike in Wilacre Park. It was hot. The weekend flew by and my sister leaves for Long Island tomorrow, but not before she interviews for a job here. Fingers crossed she gets the gig and all (3) of us kids are here on the west coast.

Good thing I started that trend.