100 Word Christmas Stories

The other day at work we were feeling particularly festive, and challenged ourselves to write Christmas stories in 100 words or less. The only other guidelines were that it needed to include one animal and at least one human. Here were my creations:

1. Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse. Mildred was a special rodent, one who believed in the magic of the holidays. On that chilly evening of December 24th, she sat awestruck as Santa shimmied his portly behind down the chimney. “Santa?” she cried! “Oh dear me!” chuckled Santa. When he got over his initial surprise, he sat with mousy Mildred and discussed the finer things in life: romance, glitter, and fine cheese. Once the night was through, he flew off into the night, and left some presents too.

2. Moose was a reindeer, and he hated his name. “A reindeer named Moose? What was your mother thinking?” Moose thought, perhaps she wasn’t. It was a cold December night and the wind whipped by his hooves as he trudged through the snow. He happened upon a small village, with candy cane fences and sugarplum trees. Elves with sparkling eyes emerged from gumdrop houses, and beckoned him closer. “My name is Moose” said the reindeer. “What a lovely name!” chirped the elves. As Moose haphazardly stepped over their candy village, he thought maybe his name wasn’t so bad after all.

3. Snickelfritz was a 237 pound orange tabby; an asthmatic cat whose legs no longer supported him. “Please Santa, please bring me self-control! I don’t want to be a fat cat.” Meanwhile in the North Pole, Santa heard Snickelfritz’s cry and wrapped up some self-control with his shiniest wrapping paper. “Don’t worry little buddy- ho ho ho!” On Christmas morning, Snickelfritz used his paws the size of catcher’s mitts to unwrap the glittering package and was delighted to discover some self-control. And as legend would have it, that day he turned down a second plate of Christmas tuna.

What gets you inspired during the holidays?

What a difference a year can make

This time last year, the restaurant I was bar-tending at closed down unexpectedly, leaving me to collect unemployment and feel pretty shitty overall. Today, I have been working for an SEO/Marketing agency for just about a year, and today I got a sizable promotion–feeling extra grateful for the mysterious twists in the road today.

 

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High Tide Brunch at the Marine Room

What’s better than feasting on a delicious brunch? Eating a delicious brunch while being accompanied by ocean views! It was my boyfriend’s birthday over the weekend and we finally got to check out the Marine Room, a La Jolla fixture that has been around for over 70 years.

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The meal coincides with high tide and the Pacific rushes up on the glass panes. Seriously breathtaking and such a cool experience!

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Me and this old dude were happily taking pictures, to the horror of the fancy wait staff.

The ocean is great and yadda yadda, but what about the food, you say?!

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GLORIOUS, GLORIOUS CHEESE! OK, so this was a lot to handle at 9 a.m., but I somehow managed.

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Yep, I treated myself to some caviar on top of lox. Sorry to all the fish who were harmed in the making of this freaking delicious snack.

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Individual servings of eggs benedict? Yes, please.

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Anddddd holy hell scope the desserts. Flavors include caramel hazelnut, banana butterscotch, coconut pineapple, and hibiscus lime.

In case you missed it, the coconut pineapple cake was decked out in edible glitter.

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Will definitely be back to sample their dinner menu. High Tide Brunch was the perfect opportunity to get the lay of the land and eat myself into a blissful early morning food coma.

Holy Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Let’s face it, what’s not to love about scaring the shit out of people and eating candy? Another Hallow’s Eve has come and gone, but these pictures remain:

IMG_3156Our pumpkins were inspired by our costumes. It’s about to get adventurous!

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At work we feasted on Franken-donuts from donut bar.

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Like any couple with foresight, we planned ahead and got three-dollar burritos from Chipotle. Taylor’s was bigger than his head, and the girl working said it was “the biggest one I’ve ever rolled.” Holy ass.

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With burritos in our belly and the Monster Mash stuck in our heads, we waited for our ghoulish crew to arrive.

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My lovely friends, Alie and Amanda, as the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit.

Then we went to a semi-random house party and mingled with gross dudes who were all about dick jokes.

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Happy Halloween to you and yours from this motley crew:

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Hawaii part one

I’ve been crazy busy lately and my schedule doesn’t seem to be thinning out anytime soon. Expect a full Hawaii post in the future, but for now, here’s some tropical food porn to make you salivate:

imageWet Hawaiian style poke from Da Poke Shack, accompanied by white rice and seaweed salad.

imageI thought I’d be downing Mai Tais the whole trip, but lava flows turned out to be so much better. This blended beauty features a traditional piña colada, doused with strawberry purée.

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Here’s a shot of some dragon fruit at the Kona farmers market. Everything was so fresh and fragrant.

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Last but obviously not least, I ate so many Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts that I had to bring a ton home for friends and family. Alohaaaaaaaaaaa.

 

I’ll leave you to dream of this stellar Big Island sunset. Every night I was taken aback by how vivid the colors in the sky were. Although I’m back in San Diego now, I’m already counting down the days until my next tropical getaway.

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Body Pump, how I love you, let me count the ways

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost four years, and in that time I’ve gained a little bit of “love weight.” You know, love weight. The pudge that begins to build on your body after hours of snuggling on the couch watching movies and cooking delicious, albeit unhealthy, meals together. It comes with the couple territory, but this June I decided I was no longer loving my love handles.

I started going to the gym, mostly messing around on the elliptical, and would look on in awe at the amazing women doing what seemed to be an intimidating class. They seemed to be having a good time; throwing barbells around in unison, and looking like it was no problem at all. I silently pledged I would become one of these beautiful Amazon women, and I’m proud to say that I’ve done just that.

The class was Body Pump, a class that targets all of your major muscle groups, and sets each group’s exercises to a different song. As someone who learns through music and memorization, it seemed perfect for me. Also, they change the exercises and playlist every six weeks- just when you start getting tired of hearing the same tunes on repeat. In one hour you’re expected to burn 400-600 calories and to complete more than 800 reps with your bar. 800 REPS!? It sounds fucking crazy. Trust me, it seems scarier than it actually is, but in a typical class you will be completing a rigorous warm-up and then hitting these muscle groups:

  • Legs (Squats)
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Legs (Lunges)
  • Shoulders
  • Abs

Followed by a relaxing cool-down. I go twice a week and I’ve managed to lose six pounds since June. My goal was to lose a little bit of weight, but also to feel strong and confident. My arms are already more toned and my thighs are already a lot stronger. Also I want to point out, I was never into weightlifting before this class. Why this class and not something else? Well, anyone who knows me would tell you that I have no rhythm, so classes like Zumba with a lot of dancing…are just out of the question. Besides, weightlifting is badass and it’s truly empowering to be around all these strong wonderful women pumping iron.

Sometimes I wonder if growing up with four siblings has streamlined me into a “pack mentality,” but I really do do better in a workout class vs. on my own. Anyway, this entire post sounds like a paid endorsement for Body Pump–trust me it’s not. Just wanted to deliver a quick, happy rant to the interwebs after getting back from the gym. Definitely try the class out if they have it in your area and stay pumped!

Experimenting with Infared Saunas

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately (well, if you count eating weekly sushi and drinking lots of wine as healthy) so I made an appointment to check out an infared sauna. They’re supposed to help you detox and also improve circulation. I was a little skeptical when heading out to Sorrento Valley, but it ended up being well worth the trip.

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First off, the floor was made out of pennies. If that’s not extravagant, than I’m not sure what is.

picstitch (1)The decor was trendy a la Anthropolgie, and I was diggin’ it.

They even filled my reusable water bottle with aqua that had undergone “reverse osmosis.” (It’s kind of a way of complicating the filtration process, but the terminology is fancy as fuck).

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The experience itself is completely private. You’re left alone in a room to undress and enjoy all the sweet, sweaty sauna has to offer.

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The sauna was big enough for me to stand in, or lie down with my knees bent. The spa attendant set the temperature to 140 degrees and I was all set to cook. Although it was a little hippie dippie for me, I really enjoyed the calm music and aromatherapy inside the sauna.

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I chilled out  heated up with Roxane Gay’s, “Bad Feminist.” 40 minutes later, I left Eco Chateau feeling rejuvenated and ready to conquer this week. Just a few more days of work and then I’ll be headed off to Hawaii. Life is so, so good.

 

 

The Best Dim Sum in San Diego

OMG! I have recently fallen head over heels in love with…DIM SUM! Since discovering China Max in Kearny Mesa (just about one month ago) I have been back three times. To my understanding, dim sum is traditionally served family style during breakfast or brunch time–which makes these delicious morsels even TASTIER! Dishes are served with 2-4 dumplings a plate, making dim sum the perfect way to kick off a Sunday with friends.

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That’s my “GET IN MUH BELLY” face.

We always try to sample a few different kinds (duh).

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I typically despise cilantro, but these chicken and cilantro dumplings are a must. So flavorful and tasty.

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BBQ pork buns! These almost tasted like they were stuffed inside a Hawaiian sweet roll. Interesting savory/sugary flavor combo going on. At the very least it’s fun to order something with the word “buns” in its name.IMG_0264

As a seafood fiend, the classic shrimp dim sum are my go-to. Perfect each and every time.

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God, it’s like if Beyonce had a crustaceous baby that you could eat.

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Just TRY to stop your mouth from watering. You can’t. If you can, then you’re just a monster.

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The rice noodle rolls are probably my least favorite. This was a beef roll, the meat was soft and flavorful, but the outer noodle quickly fell apart and had a very doughy consistency.

Do you have a go-to dim sum spot?! Although I feel faithful to China Max, I’m not opposed to testing the scrumptious Cantonese waters.

Hiking Torrey Pines

I love being outside, but I can admit that I’m not the most athletic person. Although I played soccer for years and try to get out and about whenever I can, I’m definitely not the most coordinated lady on the planet. However, life in San Diego is full of amazing outdoor attractions.

One of my favorite places in the city is the Torrey Pines State Reserve. The reserve offers eight different trails at varied levels of difficulty, stunning views of the Pacific, and lush California landscape.

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This week, after work, I met up with my friend Shelby and her friend, Jessica, to take in a sunset hike.

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There’s free parking if you’re able to find a spot, in addition to a paid lot. Once you begin your hike, you’ll notice plants from the chaparral, and coastal sage scrub families, as well as tons of Torrey pine trees (for which the reserve was named, duh).

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Here’s the amazing Shelby, looking badass and serene at the top of the Yucca Point Trail.

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After you’ve seen all the park has to offer, there are trails that will take you down onto Torrey Pines State Beach.

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And if you time your hiking shenanigans juuuust right, you’ll get to the beach just in time for sunset.

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And hey, even if you’re not a local, the sun going down over the Pacific is enough to make you feel at home. Or at least, never want to leave.

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Nobody listens to techno

Yesterday we somehow ended up downtown at Fluxx. It was a Thursday night, our friend Alex’s birthday, and we were going to see Moby.

But first, the night brought us to the Westin to meet up with everybody. I awkwardly took BFFL pictures of Tay and Zach, they’ll thank me later.

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Turns out we were in the wrong hotel…why is there a Westin on Broadway and a Westin on Broadway Circle? Still not sure. Anyways, after we rallied the troops we finally got to Fluxx. Admittedly, I had never been there before. Someone aptly described it as “space meets the desert.” Super weird decor. Super small venue.

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The floor was awesome though:

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Packed in tightly with the crowd, we had no choice but to get our groove on (although I know that’s what we would have been doing even if there was no one in da club).

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I’ve seen Moby before, but never with the energy he had during this set. Hand’s down one of the best DJ sets I’ve seen in a while. Also met a guy who told me that the last time he saw Moby was 1996, so needless to say, it was kind of a diverse crowd.

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Fluxx’s go-go dancers were amazing, and of course there were tons of LASERZ because what’s electronic music without some seizure-inducing light action.

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