Sweet Home Santa Barbara

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let's take a look back... shall we?

What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a walk down memory lane...

Aaand can't forget what's already gone down this year:

That fire fighter costume has been worn every single year since freshman year of college. If I don't wear it this year, it will officially be retired. 

Hmm decisions, decisions!

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy (early) Halloween!!

I love holidays in our house. 4th of JulyEasterSt. Patrick's Day, we do it all. 

Especially Halloween. It's kind of a big thing here in Santa Barbara, so we take it seriously. 

It's crazy that it's been a year since our Halloween housewarming party, but you know what? It's been one dang good year. 

So Happy Halloween to you and whoever you may be celebrating it with. I hope it's a great one :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

6 Weeks

As I was driving to my orthopedic appointment yesterday, I couldn't help but think back to 6 weeks ago. And let me tell you, a lot has changed. 

That day, I came home from work and whipped up this inspirational post about how 6 weeks sans cardio would be a perfect opportunity for me to focus on the other good stuff going on in life. 

You know what I didn't mention? The fact that I spent the entire day crying in my cubicle at work. 

Yupp, call me an emotional mess of a person, but I was the definition of a wreck. 

It wasn't subtle either, trust me.

I'm not quite sure why it affected me so much, but it did. There were a few other things going on that contributed to the emotional-wreck-ness, but regardless, I left it all out on the blog. Call me crazy, but I do that sometimes. 

Anywho, what's changed in the last 6 weeks? 

Well, if you've been reading my blog at all lately, you'll probably be surprised to hear that I have a new job. Shocking, right? 

If you had told me 6 weeks ago that I'd be in a totally different industry doing a completely different job, I would have laughed. I was happy at my old job, and didn't think I needed a change. 

Spoiler alert: I did. 

What else is different? Oh yeah, I'm still vegetarian! 5 weeks going strong, and still not missing meat. I'm thinking I can keep this up for a while now. Maybe save a turkey for Thanksgiving or something. 

Oh yeah and I'm sure there's a few extra pounds on the scale, but you know what? So what! I got to sleep in wayy later every day of the last 6 weeks with no morning work outs, and I'll gladly say I enjoyed the extra sleep. 

Not gonna lie though, trying to get back into that work out routine is probably gonna take some getting used to!

But I'll get there, I know I will. And one of these days, I will run a half marathon. 

For now, all I want to do is look at that girl crying in her cubicle at work, mourning the loss of her half marathon and mud run plans, and tell her to keep her chin up. Tell her that no, she will not get obese in the next 6 weeks sans cardio, and that life is about to get pretty darn exciting. 

RIP Boot, it's been fun. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh hey there!

So I've been MIA ever since I started my new job, but I'm back and ready to get my bloggin' groove back. 

First off, thank you all so much for the sweet prayers for my brother. The update is that he's doing well, and while they weren't able to determine exactly what caused the seizure, they were able to rule out the scary stuff. 

I can happily say that he's now back at school and getting back in the normal routine, so praise God for that!

As for me, you might remember that I got a new job. I started last Monday, and I can honestly say that I love it. Basically, as excited as I was for the job, I love it 10X more than I thought I would. It really is the perfect job for me, and I am so thankful that God opened up the door when I wasn't even looking for it. 

Not to mention, my first day almost every one I met was a fellow believer. It was basically God's way of saying Hey, I totally put you here for a reason.

Isn't He just the best? 

There's also been quite a lot of fun going on in the past few weeks. Between a Halloween style going away party, and last weekend's Beerfest, there hasn't been any shortage in the fun department. 

So without further adieu, a photo update:

Crazy how much has changed since last beerfest, but definitely the good kind of change. 

So what's new with you, loves? I missed you guys! Glad to be back :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Prayer Request

So I have a lot to update you on, like the new job (which I love) and weekend happenings, but right now all I've got is a prayer request. 

Tonight, my brother is in the hospital. He had a seizure last night, and was readmitted to the hospital this evening for testing for possible causes. One of which is viral meningitis, which is a pretty scary idea considering a girl died of meningitis while I was in high school. 

Now I have complete faith that there is nothing wrong with my brother that can't be fixed, but nonetheless, it's times like these that I am thankful to have a body of faithful friends that I can turn to for prayer. 

So please pray for answers. And pray that whatever it is, God heals my brother. He was scheduled for surgery for a knee injury next week, and all of this is happening during his first semester away at college. 

I love my brother so so much, and just pray that God heals him. 

My brother is an amazing example of someone who endures pain and injuries without any complaints or frustration. He stays positive and friendly even in the midst of stress.

 I could learn a lot from this one. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Update

So I've been completely failing at blogging lately. And hopefully next week I'll be better! Because there's a lot going on right now. Like:

I joined a new community group. 

Community groups are organized by the church to encourage fellowship and forming closer bonds within a smaller group. I was in a group last spring, and loved it.

Ironically, I met the couple that helped get me my new job at said community group. So not only did I meet a dozen or so amazing new friends, but I got a new job out of it. 

God's kind of cool like that, huh?

The couple that hosts my new group has a fire pit in the back yard, so you can bet that we use that baby to make some bomb smores. 

Even got a little creative and used it to melt chocolate inside of strawberries. 

Disclaimer: I didn't actually try the strawberries, but heard they were a bit smokey. Not necessarily something I recommend, ha!

And today is my last day at work!

It's pretty bitter-sweet, actually. As excited as I am for my new job and to see what God does with it, I'm definitely sad to not be seeing these amazing people that I've met every day anymore. 

Some people organized a happy hour for my last week, and it was great to all hang out, grab a few drinks, watch some sports and play some pool (Another disclaimer: I suck at pool)

Oh, and it was this girl's birthday yesterday:

She's kiiind of one of my favorite people in the entire world. So you can expect a post full of lovey-dovey birthday wishes to come. 

Aaand that's a wrap folks. What's going on in your life?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You forgot I cooked, huh?

Yeah, I did too. 

I'm not sure if I've just been busy, or lazy (probably a combination of the two) but I've barely been cooking these days. So last night I decided to wing it, and came up with a pretty tasty Israeli couscous creation. 

I figured it's blog-worthy, not to mention it's been forever since I posted a recipe... so here you go!

Israeli Couscous w/ Avocado & Sun-dried Tomatoes


3/4 cup Israeli couscous (or however much your heart desires!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup water
1 small avocado
1 lemon
Lemon pepper
Handful of sun-dried tomatoes


1. Cook Israeli couscous and olive oil together in a small sauce pan until couscous starts to brown. Add water, and bring to a boil. 

2. Let sit until the couscous absorbs the water. Remove from heat. 

3. Mix in avocado, and juice from lemon. Stir until avocado is smooth. 

4. Add lemon pepper to your tasting, and sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes on top.

This is enough for one serving, and probably took a total of 15 minutes max to make. If you're like me and love both avocado and lemon, this is right up your alley. Quick and easy, my type of recipe!

Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I don't have much to say except

Stagecoach 2013 lineup came out today!!

I am so so excited to go back for another epic country-filled weekend! If you weren't around last April, you can see the recap from last Stagecoach here.

{It was kind of amazing}

Not to mention I just saw Toby in August, and so I know he's a blast live.
Counting down the days people, counting down the days.

Happy Stagecoach Lineup Day Tuesday!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

This is what girl's night looks like...

In a boot:

Friday night was girl's night, and it was quite the success. Wine/cupcake tasting + a delicious Italian dinner made for one happy and very full lady. 

We went wine tasting here, and both the service and the wine/cupcakes were amazing. We had been one other time, and this place seriously does not disappoint. 

I think I may need to go back, take some more pics, and do another Only in Santa Barbara post. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Goals Week!

Happy Almost Friday!

It's here! It's here! And I hope you're enjoying it. 

So I spent the week thinking of realistic goals that I can accomplish in the near future. In case you missed any, here's an overview:

Goal #1: Cross off at least 2 states by the time I turn 24 (in June).
Goal #2: Finish reading the entire Bible by the end of the year.
Goal #3: Stay pescatarian through the holidays.
Goal #4: Read 30 books in 2012. 

So why are goals important? I mean, I'm sure we all have our unique answers. For me, it's important that I am constantly working to improve myself. I feel like God has given me this one life, and it's my job to be the best person that I can be. 

And maybe traveling and reading and not eating meat don't necessarily make me a better person. Maybe none of those things allow me to give back, or make a difference in other people's lives. 

But they do make me happier.

Which brings me to 

Goal #5: Be positive. And help others to do the same.

Earlier in the week, I mentioned how I really don't know what I want to do with my life. 

But what I do know, is that I want to find a way to make people happy. Make them feel good about themselves, inside and out. Lift them up when they need it. 

I want the people in my life to know that I love them. I want them to know that I mean it when I say that I will always be there for them. 

And maybe this whole "Be positive!" goal and "I want to make people happy" business sounds cheesy and like it jumped straight out of a self help book. 

But it's true. And that's what's in my heart. And I don't know what my dream career is, or what I want my legacy to look like, but I do know that for every day that I'm blessed to be on this Earth, I want to spend it bringing the people around me up. 

I want to take this one life, and make it count. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Goals - Day 4

Happy Almost Friday!!

Hope everyone's having a good Thursday, so far! I'm back and ready to cover another goal.

Goal #4: Read 30 books in 2012.

So far I'm at 20, and I think 30 is totally do-able. Reading is something that I've always enjoyed, but before this year, it was something I rarely did outside of school. Outside of the amazing series like Harry Potter and Twilight, I pretty much stuck to the required reading unless I was on vacation.

That changed for me this year, when my roommates and I started a Book Club. When I started reading for that, I realized how great it was to have a book to read during my spare time.

Before bed, when I wake up, on the elliptical, on a break at work. You put a good book in my hands, and I will not want to put it down.

So, my love for reading has been rekindled.

And since we're on the topic of books, last night was our first Blogger Book Club meeting! Only a few of us could join, but it was so great to see some of these lovely ladies' faces for the first time.

From left to right, we've got:

Amanda from the little things
Me :)
Elissa from It's Only Life
and Olivia from Mad Lib

I'm so glad that Olivia had the idea to start this Book Club! It's a great way to read some new books, and grow closer with other Bloggers.

If you're interested in joining, you should definitely jump in this month! We're still voting on October's book, and here are our choices:

 If you'd like to join, comment with your vote!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Goals - Day 3!

Happy Humpday, loves!
I'm back for part 3 of Goals Week. To see goals 1 and 2, go here and here.
I've loved seeing all of your supportive comments on these goals, and am excited to announce goal #3.
But first, I have a confession to make... There's something I've been keeping from you.
When I went to Boston a few weeks ago, I made a big life decision.
You see, for almost 3 weeks now, I've been going without something.
Something that I used to have pretttyy often before.
Want a hint?
That's right guys, I've said bye-bye to meat!
I'm still eating fish and seafood, but no more chicken or red meat. Just call me a proud pescatarian!
When I hurt my foot, I decided I wanted to take these 6 weeks that it takes to heal, and use them to focus on my diet. And I figured what better time to try out being a vegetarian than now?
I'm not saying that I think meat is unhealthy. I think I eat plenty of things that are wayy worse for me than a little chicken or beef. But I've also heard great things about the vegetarian diet (& pescatarian too!), so I'm going for it!
So far, it's been great! I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, and I actually really like tofu and other protein-filled vegetarian foods. I tried going pesky once before, and failed miserably.
It's nice to see that if I actually put my mind to something, I can accomplish it. And that brings me to:
Goal #3: Stay pescatarian through the holidays.
Thanksgiving is going to be the first real test for me, but I'm determined to challenge myself to stick to the pesky diet. I think it'll be great for me to remember that I can choose what to put into my body, and I don't have to always just dig into what looks or sounds good at the time.
Bye-bye Turkey!! Maybe I'll see you at Thanksgiving 2013!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Goals - Day 2

So we're talking goals here this week. Yesterday's goal was travel oriented, and let me tell you, I cannot wait to get started on accomplishing that goal! It's so cool to see how many of you are also trying to accomplish the goal of seeing all 50 states.
Blogger Meet Up in a random state anyone?? I'm thinking Wyoming. Let's do it.
Anywho, today's goal has been mentioned on the blog a few times (starting with the New Years Resolutions post), so without further adieu,
Goal # 2: Finish reading the entire Bible by the end of the year.
Being in the Word this year has completely changed me. I will be honest and say that I don't always live out the changes that I feel God working in me, but I can feel the progress and that's what's important.
I can feel how powerful His Word is. I can feel how it will completely change my mood, and remind me of how amazing and incredible our God is.
I'm about 10 days behind in my reading schedule, but I am definitely confident that I can catch up and finish come December.
Here's a passage that spoke to me recently:
Is there any scripture that's spoken to you lately? I would love to hear it!
Oh, and since we're on the topic of faith. I've been loving this song lately:

Have yourself a wonderful Tuesday!!

Monday, October 1, 2012


This week, I want to talk about goals.
With a lot of changes going on lately, it's starting to really sink in that I'm a grown up. I'm old enough to be changing from one full-time w/ benefits job to another. Old enough to have a roommate moving in with her boyfriend. Old enough to have to seriously consider where I want my life to take me.
So where do I want my life to take me?
Well, I know I want to move closer to my family at some point. But beyond that, I don't really know.
I don't really know what my dream job is. I really don't.
But what I do know is that I want to start getting serious about making goals, and accomplishing them.
So this week, I want to post about 1 goal each day. Really give it some thought, and discuss how I'm going to make that goal happen.
And I'd love it if you shared some goals with me! I could always add to the list.
So here we go:
Goal # 1: Cross off at least 2 states by the time I turn 24.
I never really properly introduced it, but I have this thing called the 50 State Challenge. I want to visit all 50 states in my life, because from what I've seen so far, every state is so unique and different. Each state has so much to offer, whether it's culture, beauty, or just cool ass accents.
So how am I going to accomplish this? Well, I turn 24 next June, so that gives me about 9 months to plan trips to at least 2 new states.
Totally doable!
These are some of the ones on my list:
**A good friend from work is moving to Colorado. And while I'm sad to see her go, I'm so excited that I can visit her and cross off a state on my list!**
**I've heard amazing things about Portland, so definitely planning a trip to experience the amazing-ness first hand.**
**Seattle is on my to-visit list. Pretty much the same thing that I said about Portland applies here.**
**There's talks about coordinating my very first blate to meet this girl IRL. If all works out, I could not be more excited for that possible adventure :)**
And there we have it folks, goal #1. Get my butt out there and start crossing some states off my list!