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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Google+ City Experts

If you’ve ever met me, then you should know I never say no to free stuff or new experiences. But who does really, amIrighttt?! That being said, Tuesday after work I was invited to go check out Google+ new City Experts program.

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To my knowledge, this is the first time Google has had one of these events in San Diego. Naturally, I was really excited to see what type of flavor they would bring to the free food game. Taylor and I headed downtown to SILO Maker’s Quarter after work and were greeted by a massive line.

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Luckily, it moved pretty quickly- and we were in! I had never been to this venue before, but it was seriously amazing. Wide open space and tons of cool street art on the industrial walls.

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Google did an awesome job re-imagining the space and letting their branding work for them. We met one of their community managers and she was super friendly and informative. After that, we were done messing around and were on to the free food:

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Please note that their shirts say, “Meatballer.”

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Free beer and a spread from Suzie’s Farm? I’ll take it. There were several other vendors there that I had tried before, but Donut Bar was the crowned jewel of the evening.

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Offering their Homer Simpson, Mud Pie, and Maple Bacon PLUS build your own donut…and….and wait for it…WAIT FOR IT:

THEY HAD CONSTRUCTED A WALL MADE OUT OF DONUTS!!!!!!!!

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As if it could get any better than all of my dreams coming true a donut wall, a killer local band was playing. They sounded a bit like She & Him.

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Thoroughly impressed, and not to mention full, we headed out into the summer night. I will definitely be trying to make it to more of these in the future.

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MGMT on the Midway

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Hellooo friends, gather round while I tell you about the time that we saw MGMT perform on the USS Midway. This tale begins like any good story should, with Mexican food:

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As you may or may not know, Comic Con was this weekend in San Diego. If you don’t know, you might be living under a rock not live in California or be into anything awesomely geeky. Like any local, I know not to even attempt to drive downtown during the madness. It’s like the Super Bowl for nerds, people. I work in Old Town, so my boyfriend Taylor met me at the office after work and we braved the trolley together.

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Surprisingly, there weren’t as many cosplayers as I thought there would be on public transit. I’m assuming that they probably get there bright and early hence their absence on the train in the evening.

With full bellies and happy hearts we hauled ass to the U.S.S. Midway, we RSVP’d online but admittance was still being handled on a first come first serve basis.

Granted we weren’t too happy when we saw this monster line waiting for us:

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OK, well we look pretty happy in this pic, but that’s just because we really like each other and it was Friday night.

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THREE HOURS passed by and we’re really starting to doubt that we’ll get in. But thanks to some quick thinking, we asked some people who were exiting the party if they still needed their VIP passes and voila- no more waiting in line. We were in.

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Since now almost four hours had passed since our taco binging, we hit up the free food being served. Let’s be real, we would have bee-lined for the food anyways:

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And then we took advantage of the open bar. Man, San Diego really knows how to make a girl feel special. Yes, the drinks were nautically themed.

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Feeling victorious, we got up pretty damn close to see MGMT in action. I hadn’t seen them live since like 2005, but they really put on an amazing show. Although the last time I saw them, they were hammered and wearing snake-skin pants. So that was slightly more magical.

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We were on the top deck of the Midway in the San Diego harbor, so the ocean breeze and the city skyline in the back truly made it an unforgettable evening.

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Neither of us had ever been on the ship before, so we took the time after MGMT’s set to wander around and be dorky.

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Thank you, Comic Con, for bringing amazing events like this to America’s Finest City, even if it also means the 5 has an unreasonable amount of traffic all day long. To all you nerds out there, I salute you.

C’mon baby, make it slurp so good

This weekend, I found myself in Hillcrest cheering on the San Diego Pride Parade. My boyfriend and I were starving and made a quick pit stop at Tajima! This little gem exceeded all expectations and was truly delicious. Apparently they just recently opened up their HIllcrest location, too, so I was really pleased with how legit everything was.

We both ended up ordering:

“Chilled egg noodle with BBQ pork, pork belly, ramen egg, green onion, sesame seed served with house dipping broth.”

 

The broth tasted like garlicy, buttery heaven. We’ll definitely be back!

 

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Behold, a world of ramentastic nomz.

Why I didn’t catch “The Fever.”

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I wanted to love Megan Abbott’s The Fever, I truly did. And after binge reading all three Gillian Flynn books last week and seeing she had endorsed it, I caved and bought it on my Kindle. But the story just didn’t grip me how it should have and there were WAY too many red herrings in the mix. Like, more red herrings than an episode of Scooby Doo. Proceed with caution, there are going to be some major spoilers ahead:

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