Barre, Run, Sleep. Repeat.

That’s right people. It’s wedding season, which means it’s exactly the right time for me to become overly obsessed ansd self-consumed with my wedding body.

While I tend not to be the crazy girl who counts every calorie, I am vain, and luckily for Leo’s obsession with running, it was an easy change to my daily routine.

18283_10101809622289285_1399111699169618217_n

Barre, Run, Sleep. Repeat.

Have you done barre before? One of my girlfriends did it before her wedding 2 years ago and she looked AMAZING. She had this skin-tight silk dress that hung tight in every curve, and gosh darnit did she do it right!

Now I would not normally inflict this type of pain on myself (I guess this is a sort of not-accurate statement), but Leo loves to work out…. So he bought me a bunch of classes at our barre studio downstairs.

Guys Doing Barre

Have you ever seen a guy in you’re barre class? Me neither.  In all fairness, the woman at Pink Barre did warn Leo that there was only one other male who had enrolled for classes.

But, Leo decided to join anyway.

So every Wednesday at 6am, we head down to our barre class, and it’s quite possibly the hardest yet funniest thing I’ve ever done. By nature, I’m about as ungraceful as you can get (I mean, I broke my wrist when I was standing up straight – that is hard to beat!). The only person who has less graceful moves than me is Leo, and watching him do pliets and working the bar with his arms isabout just as funny as Jimmy Fallon’s lip synching contests.

It’s actually quite bizarre because when Leo runs he looks like he is floating. If I looked like that when I ran, I would not walk ANYWHERE – I’d run. But, to be candid, I look like an elephant who has just finished 27 bottles of whiskey when I run. It’s an ugly sight.

At any rate, barre is challenging, I feel like my hips are going to pop out of their sockets, and I seriously wonder if I’m going to get any better. I guess time will tell!

The Georgia Publix Marathon

Yay! Another Atlanta to-do list item to check off!!! I signed up for this race a few months ago with one of my best friends here, Laura, who absolutely killed her first half marathon (1:51)!!!

10996284_10103782053082137_8843985700698026978_n

This was either my third or fourth half marathon, and I’m glad it’s over. Although I thought my barre, run, sleep, repeat routine was fail proof, I happened to really hurt my sciatic nerve the week before my race at a barre class. (Realistically it happened before the barre class, but the class definitely did not help it one bit). I’ve never really been injured before a race, but the pain goes from my lower back down the backside of my leg to my ankle. Ouch!

I finished in under 2:30, which has been on my slower side. Even so, it’s another one in the books! As a shirt I saw on the course said, “I’m a completed, not a competer!”

Maybe one day I’ll get close to Laura’s time :)

10408035_10103782053032237_6825245789497758826_n

Shower Optional

Funniest part of this whole day was after we got home from the race. We decided to go home, shower and clean up so we could celebrate with pizza and beer since there would not be a beer tent available on Sunday due to the Blue Laws. 

It had been raining the entire course, and after you’re toes, fingers and body have been wet for over 3 hours, all you want is a nice hot shower.

But, just imagine if the water main on your road broke, and there is no running water at your apartment…..

True story. No running water when we got home. There were some little tiny drops coming from the shower head so I decided to jump in and scrub whatever I could. The water stopped before I could get my hair.

Poor Leo had to wash his hair in the sink – I had to pour bottled water on his head. Talk about absolute disaster!

At any rate, we freshened up, we went out to celebrate with our best friends in ATL, we slept, and then we repeat!

Share Button

An Authentic Taste of Mexico

I’ve been to Mexico twice: to Tijuana when I was about 8 years old, and for spring break to Cabo when I was in grad school. Needless to say, I’ve never had a real authentic experience in Mexico.

Fortunately, Leo got accepted to an inter-semester program to IPADE in Mexico City, where his family lives, which gave him an excuse to get school credits and visit his family.

One last minute decision later… I bought a flight to join him for 5 days to meet his family before our wedding in July!

IMG_2833

An Authentic Taste of Mexico

Oh my gosh. Where on earth do I start? Mexico was so different than I had imagined – it’s diverse, the food is incredible (ok I did expect this much), the history is rich, there are so many subcultures, and most importantly. I can’t wait to go back! This is my first trip out of the country since my South America trip 2 years ago.Although Leo and I have done an excellent job of exploring the South this year, this has been my longest period of non-international travel in my 20’s.

Needless to say, I was so excited to be in a completely foreign city where I spoke only two words of the language: cerveza and bano.

IMG_2616

Tio Alberto and Tia Toya’s “Guaps”. It’s a 300 year old painting. Amazing.

Day 1: Mariano’s 7th Birthday

When we arrived in Mexico, we were picked up by Leo’s uncle, Tio Alberto, and his driver. We went straight to Tio Alberto and Tia Toya’s house for Mariano’s birthday. I had met his aunt and uncle last Christmas when they had visited California, but this birthday party was my first time to meet Leo’s cousin, Beto, and his two adorable kids, Mariano and Juane.

These two boys remind me of my own nephews, who are the same age. They are so sweet and too cute for their own good.

Also, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in my entire life. His aunt would not stop feeding me, and I joked that if she didn’t stop, she’d have to roll me all the way back to ATL from Mexico.

14039_10103751077552347_6493846741421274171_nMe and Tia Toya

Day 2: Museo Nacional de Antropología y Polanco

IMG_2530

I’m so glad we stared our trip at the museum because there are so many historical artifacts, and it also gives a really rich and detailed history of Mexico. I always geek out at these kinds of places because it’s incredible to think that artifacts have been preserved since B.C., or that historians know as much as they do.

Interestingly enough, Mexico City was surrounded by a lake (which as now dried), and many of the buildings are sinking into the ground due to this.

After the museum, we strolled over to Polanco, which is an upscale area with beautiful shops, restaurants and homes. It’s kind of like the Rodeo Drive of Mexico City. I was so impressed with the way people dressed, and the general vibe. Everything felt alive. People sat outside to enjoy the warm weather, music was playing from each restaurant, and there was a general buzz of people enjoying long lunches.

Naturally, we stopped for refreshments.

After a siesta at Tia Toya and Tio Alberto’s, we headed back to Polanco for dinner with Leo’s cousins to El Japonez, a sushi restaurant. But it wasn’t just a sushi restaurant – it was a sushi-Mexican fusion restaurant. I had no idea there was such a large asian influence in Mexico City. The food was incredible.

11042992_10103750492524747_6018415348090107885_n

Day 3: El Centro

Every morning we woke up to a completely authentic Mexican meal. His aunt made the best chilaquiles, black beans, and different types of hot sauces I’ve ever had in my life. I unfortunately didn’t take photos, but I will learn to make it as good as she does. I seriously wish I could express to her how much I love what she cooked.

But, she doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish. Anyway, that’s a different life goal that will happen at some point.

After breakfast, we met with Leo’s other cousin Gordo and his wife Tete. We went to explore El Centro, and we first started at an exhibit called Bici at Museo Franz Mayer.

10917456_10103751068126237_7257746017773350561_n

Tons of awesome bikes from all over the world. A hipster’s paradise.

Next we walked past the Palaceo des Bellas Artes and wandered through the square.

Then, my quince dreams came true….

11026009_10103751068465557_4163487813585772306_n

Amazing, no?

Then we stopped by Azul Historico for some food…. and dios mio it was amazing. You’re walking in this very old, historical part of town, and you enter into this place, and it’s a beautiful, modern courtyard with huge trees decorated with hanging tea light candles in the middle of the square.

Plus, if you’re looking for some sun, there’s an amazing rooftop bar with plenty of spots to lounge and a pool.

On the menu: mescal, guacamole with crickets, tacos el pastor, and some rose.

After lunch, we went exploring to the main square, Zócalo to see Palacio Nacional the and Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María. I have been a single female traveler for a while, and from time to time, you can feel out of place – especially if you’re a blonde. Places like China or Egypt or Turkey I would  stand out. I never felt unsafe in Mexico, but all eyes were on us as we started getting deeper into the city.

We were searching for the cathedral where the Holy Inquisition happened, and although we couldn’t find it, it was great to experience the streets. One thing that struck me was how everyone who passed the cathedral made the sign of the cross. You’d never see something like that in the US.

Day 4: Pyramids & Roma 

On our last day, Leo’s cousins Toyi, Jorge and Beto took us to the pyramids, and they were incredible.

11021465_10103752848508337_3631524005457844058_o

We walked all around the grounds, up the pyramids, and took some incredible photos. I loved spending the time with his family and seeing history from the Aztecs!

To round out the trip, we finished our day in Roma. We ate another amazing Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant called Sesame. Roma was so cute with tons of personality, amazing restaurants, beautiful buildings, and some very detailed street art (I’m a sucker for street art).

Mexico City was an incredible experience. Not only did I feel so loved by Leo’s family, but the history, the food, the colors of the city, and the city vibe were all amazing. I am very much looking forward to going back.

Thank you to his family for the very warm welcome, and taking the time to show us around. I am so appreciative of everything you did to make our trip so memorable!

BESO!

Share Button

Bucketlist: The Tabernacle in Atlanta

Bucketlist: The Tabernacle in Atlanta

11018330_10152680925226629_1471934072409610325_n

YES! Last week I finally made it to the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is one of the items on my epic Atlanta to-do list.  I had been wanting to come to this venue because it’s a pretty epic venue in Atlanta. It’s an old church that got turned into a concert venue right in downtown Atlanta.

I love venues like this because it feels really small, and you feel really close to the show, regardless of where you are in the venue.

Plus, check out the ceiling!

11034446_10152682865896629_1095218670095694570_o

My favorite venue in San Francisco is the Warfield, and the Tabernacle completely reminded me of it because of the way the ground floor slopes up, and it’s pretty much the best place. You feel like you’re right in the middle of everything.

The 18 bit lilts opened up for Above & Beyond, and they were pretty good too.

My only beef with the show is that I went with a girlfriend to grab some beers, and they closed off the ground floor even though Leo and our friend, Prateek, were there! It’s kind of bizarre because people aren’t mean or pushy at those types of shows… It’s not like you’re going to get knocked out in a mosh pit. Lesson learned – I won’t be leaving the floor before the main act comes on.

Anyway, the Tabernacle was awesome. I’ll be back for sure!

 

Photos: Courtesy of Above & Beyond’s Facebook page and the Untz.

 

Share Button

Throwback Thursday!

Who doesn’t love a solid #tbt? It has taken me a while to get these photos uploaded to my computer, but I finally got them thanks to my AWESOME sister who collected them for a slide show she put together during our engagement party!

Here are some real gems (with commentary, of course).

Throwback Thursday!

2

Leo riding his first bike in ’89. Check out those sweet kicks!

3

Looking cute with a pumpkin.

4

There’s no way that life jacket would ever saved Leo if he drowned. Thank goodness he didn’t.

7

The first of the hat series – this is what I like to call my “Chiquita Bonita” look. Apparently fruit and veggies can be a pattern. #fashionneverdies

9

“WTF is this little thing? I think I like it…. I think I’m tired… I think I’m not sure”, Taylor at the age of 3.

10

Leo’s first crush.

12Leo’s 7th birthday. Ladies loved him back then.

13

Not sure if my mom brushed my hair. I’m sure she tried. I sometimes have a mind of my own. Then again, so does my hair.

16

IGUANA!

20

Fox hat – check. Superman shirt – check. Rabbit cookies – check.

22

A sparkly super hero. Leo might kill me for this.

25

Another hat photo. Thank god for this. I went through a big sunflower obsession back around ’93. The denim ensemble doesn’t disappoint either.

26

AH HA! Zorro!

27

Hanging out with my sis and grandpa, Poppy, in Vail for the 4th of July. I’m still nerdy.

29

Yeehaw. Getting wild at Kindergarten.

34Leo has always been in touch with nature.

39

Toothless sister photo.

48

Mud monster on the loose!

49This could have been another 4th of July…. My mom loved putting us in matching outfits. Matching dresses, matching headbands, matching socks – no problem.

59

Noel, our puppy!

60

The first indication of Leo’s good driving skills.

72Exploring the pool tides with Mama Rodriguez.
73HOWDY!

75Forever in my heart <3

Share Button

Experiencing Snowmageddon in Hotlanta

Our favorite waitress at the General Muir once told Leo and I, “Atlanta is the only place where you can experience all four seasons in a week”.

IMG_1675

Yep. That’s an accurate description. I wish someone had told us that, like, a year ago, because “Hotlanta” is a completely innacurate description of the weather in this city. (No one here actually calls it that so maybe that was the first hint).

It should be called: “Cold and Hotlanta”, or “Radlanta”, or “Really fucking indecisive Atlanta”, or “Hotlanta with a chance of ice”, or “I like to vary by 100F Atlanta”.

Experiencing Snowmageddon in Hotlanta

Does anyone remember Snowmageddon in Atlanta last year?

Snowmageddon was this terrible thing that happened when all of the streets and freeways in ATL froze over with millions of people stuck on freeways for hours. A few of the people I work with had to sleep in the office over night because they couldn’t get out. (Although I keep saying that the bright side is that they were the first to the office the next day.)

Now, the city is completely ill-prepared for any type of inclement weather: there aren’t enough snow machines to put ice down, there really isn’t enough snow that ever sticks, 132 square miles is too big to cover (not including metro ATL)… You get the idea. There’s a number of things against us here in ATL, and the biggest problem here on top of it all,  is ice.

Being from California, I have no idea what this means. In my narrow understanding of weather, I just through there were 4 categories: sunny, fog/cloudy, rain, and snow. There happens to be a variety of different categories within snow – sleet, freezing rain, ice, snow.

I know ya’ll are probably laughing at me, but there you go. I had no idea.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve started to experience some of this wonderful “inclement” weather, and to be honest, it’s pretty crazy. For example, I work 11 miles from the office – which in ATL traffic can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour – and when I left home it was raining, but by the time I got to work, it was snowing. Just 11 miles and a complete weather change.

Anyway, I FINALLY got my first snow day (WOOOOO!), which was the most anticlimactic snow day ever. We got released around 2pm so we could be on the road before the temperature dropped below freezing. There was freezing rain and huge snowflakes when I left, but then it stopped falling.

Thank goodness Verizon had our global emergency response team “actively monitoring the situation”. It was dramatic, yes. But compared to other businesses or schools, it was probably on the less dramatic side.

Emory, along with all the schools, completely shut down for 2 days. The governor declared a state of emergency, and there was No snow on the ground, no storming within the perimeter, but everything was shut.

IMG_1684

Luckily I came home to a very prepared fiancé….

So there you have it. We survived our first ice storm, and we got to enjoy some great wine for our first snow day.

While I laughed at everyone freaking out about the weather, I do have to say I’m very grateful for the precautions because no one wants to spend 9 hours stuck on I400. Atlanta freeways are already a god-awful place.

I know we are not out of the clear quite yet, but here’s to hoping that we warm up quickly in March. Bring me that heat!!

In the meantime, best of luck to everyone in the Midwest and Northeast.

 

Share Button

What to Expect When Your Dog Gets Fixed

No one could have prepared me for Rexford losing his manhood – not even my own memory! If any of you have a puppy and are looking to get him/ her fixed, then here’s some tips that I wish I had known before I took our little man in! Also, feel free to add any tips about what you’ve done to help your pup in the comments below!

What to Expect When Your Dog Gets Fixed

FullSizeRender

On the Christmas of 1994 (AKA BEST CHRISTMAS EVER), my sister and I got our first puppy, Noel.  Noel was a minature black French poodle, who my mother insisted that we named her something “French”, because of our French heritage and because she was a French Poodle.

My mom’s first suggested the name “Chopin”, but I was 7 and my sister was 4, and that just seemed like a silly idea at the time.

noel the poodle

So, ‘Noel’ it was.

She was a sweet little terrorist, who loved to bark at anything that crossed the street, escape out of any backyard door she could squeeze her little body under (she got hit by a car twice and still survived), and perch herself atop the highest most fluffy couch pillow possible.

She also also got neutered. But somehow, my memory of her surgery was nothing close to what our poor little Rexford went through in just the past few weeks!

Then again, your memory at 7 is quite different than in your 20’s.

But then again, my 20’s were pretty blurry too…. Anywho!

 

Here are all of the surprises I had:

1. I did not expect to feel so emotional. I literally cried when I had to leave him. I knew they would put him under, and I wasn’t scared about it until I had to give my little 8 lb 5 oz puppy to the nurse. I’m sure they were probably laughing at me (and I’m sure you are probably laughing at me reading this), but Rex is furbaby!

unnamed-2

2. I underestimated the recovery time. I thought he would be back to normal within 2-3 days. The recovery took a full 7-9 days. He had some pretty significant red sores that took a long time to heal. We ended up going back to the doctor to get topical solutions to help the healing.

IMG_1385
3. I did not expect him to be restless at night. For 3-4 nights after his surgery, Rex was completely restless. He would lay down for a bit, and then quickly jump up and scurry to a different side of the bed. I’m sure the pain medication was wearing off during the night, but it meant for a week of terrible sleep for the three of us.

unnamed-5
4. I also underestimated how upset his stomach would be. The poor pup got sick in our bed the first two nights after surgery, and then he accidentally wet the bed the third night. I’m sure everything in is body was all off for him. However, we fed him rice, which was a wonderful treat and he loved it. It’s gentle on their stomachs and warm. He ate it right up.

rice for upset puppy stomach
5. I did not anticipate him getting other illnesses like kennel cough. After multiple sleepless nights, an upset stomach, and an increasing cough, we took him to the vet. In hindsight, we should have taken him earlier, but I’m so glad we took him. The doctor gave us an antibiotic for the kennel cough, and he also gave us an ointment for his empty sack (lol). It was so red and scabbed over, I wasn’t sure if it was healing correctly!

unnamed-3
6. I didn’t realize how many procedures they do at once. Often times, the vets will offer to remove any baby teeth, and microchip them all at the same time – otherwise, they would have to put the dog under again to remove any stubborn baby teeth. We decided to do it all, which means he had a tooth pulled, he got microchipped in his back, he got one testee removed from his sack, and they had to make a separate incision to remove the undescended testee. I can understand why he was in so much pain!

IMG_1383

 

Luckily, I was prepared in one sense: get the donut rather than the tube. Being the overprotective furmom, I decided to get two donuts to find the right one for him. We got the Kong Cloud Collar and the Contech ProCollar. I preferred the Kong because it inflated a bit more and was softer, but I’m glad we got both for him because he could still reach his wounds with only one of the collars.

Check out the double donut:

IMG_1388

He even ended up liking his donut towards the end!

So, after all of the medication, sleepless nights, and time in the double donut, Rex is finally back his normal self. He was also a very sexually active fellow prior to his surgery, and that has seemed to slow down over the past few weeks too, but his mischievous ways are still at the core of who he is!

After all, a home is not a home without a maltipoo!

rex feeling better

Share Button

Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

Sigh. I’ve been really slow at blogging the past few weeks, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Life has been a little crazy between work, wedding planning, going away for Valentine’s Day weekend, food poisoning, snow, Rexford’s surgery (don’t worry this post is coming soon too) and much more.

So I’m going to tell you about everything I’ve checked off the bucket list!

Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

CNN headquarters tour

CNN Headquarters VIP Tour

If you remember a few weeks ago, my mom came to visit me in ATL (and we survived the Hawks game) and one of the items I had on the bucket list was to visit the CNN headquarters. One thing that my mom LOVES is 24 hour news. We grew up watching Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. of hours on end.  Whether it was the OJ high speed chase or Jon Benet’s murder mystery, we watched it from the time we got up in the morning to eat our Eggo waffles with strawberries, to the time my mom was wrapping up dinner and cleaning the dishes.

There were no breaks in news for our family, and I can safely say that this has probably contributed to her lack of trust in the world.

That said, she loves studio tours of different TV and news sets. When my sister lived in NYC, my mom and I frequently went to visit her, and we would see live shows and tour studios when we could. We’ve been to Kelly & Regis, NBC, ABC, and a few more. It’s always so cool to see how big these studios are, and the different types of equipment they have.

And it’s even crazier to realize how small the studio audience seating actually is for live shows like Conan  O’Brien and the Tonight Show.

We took the VIP tour (which is well worth the $35 ticket) and got to see the actual headquarters, the HLN studio, and how the cameras prepare the content and switch the views from one screen to another. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing, it’s an awesome way to learn how the studios do what they do.

In the HLN studio, three or four of their cameras are actually robots, which are controlled (like Mario Kart) from behind a screen. Pretty awesome stuff!

Little fun fact: the world’s longest freestanding escalator is what you take up to the tour, so if you want to check that off your list, you can do it in one fell swoop :)

 

Highlands, North Carolina

highlands north carolina
Like many of our fun adventures in the South, we planned a “romo” (our short word for “romantic”) weekend away. Highlands had come recommended to us from some good Emory friends of ours who got married there last summer. We decided to come up to the Old Edwards Inn for Valentine’s Day weekend for a quick getaway from the city. The best part is that Highlands is only a 2.5 hour drive, which makes it a perfect weekend trip away from the A.

Oh my gosh, can I just tell you how fabulous Old Edwards Inn is? It is simply so luxurious. Upon arrival, one of the 5 hotel attendees provides you with a fresh glass of champagne. For those of you who know me, that’s basically like music to my soul. The rooms are luxurious AND adorable. It reminds me of old English style with classic floral pattern drapes, white blinds, classic wood details, and way too many pieces of furniture for a room. We had our own private balcony, and the bathroom was a dream. If you haven’t experienced heated floors, let me just tell you – they are uhhhhmazzing.

The property is huge and never understaffed. There are multiple lounges, sitting rooms, Madison’s the restaurant, a fitness center with all types of classes, and a world-class spa, which has to be the absolute highlight of the trip.

Recommendations:

  • Madison’s has fabulous food (seared foie gras, scallops & mussels to die for, and an incredible wine selection)
  • The spa – spend a whole day here. Come early, enjoy your paper by the fire, get your treatment, have a glass of champagne in the quiet sitting room, enjoy lunch at the Spa Cafe, and then indulge in the 12-shower head shower, mineral spa, sauna and steam room. Everything about this spa is impressive.
  • Just stay at the Old Edwards. It will be good for your health.

10984290_10103716215590997_7369541079613866286_n

Oysterfest
Next on the list: Oysterfest in ATL. I do love me a good Oysterfest. What can be better than brews, oysters and music? Pretty much nothing. When I saw that there was an Oysterfest in ATL, I quickly got tickets for Leo and I. Despite the rain, we toughed the cold, wet weather to check it out for a few hours. I must say that the amount of oysters there was pretty disappointing…. There were about 2 stations where you could get oysters – likely another reason why SF has ruined me. But, we ran into a bunch of friends, and that was awesome!

oysterfest

The coolest thing is that I ran into a girl who is born and raised in ATL. She mentioned that she had read my bucket list and that she was so impressed with how extensive it was that she was adding some of the items to her own list! Neato speedo!

Overall, we had a great time, and the music was fun, but it’s no San Francisco Oysterfest. Also, one big recommendation: DON’T EAT THE OYSTERS!!!

Lucky me. I got food poisoning. I got the warning a bit too late and had already indulged in an oyster Po’ Boy. This kept me in bed for a solid 24 hours, and we sadly had to miss the Sweetwater 18th Anniversary Party the following day – another item on my bucket list!

So, Sweetwater is still on our bucket list, but I have a feeling that by the time spring rolls around, their outdoor patio will be a much more attractive spot than the current sleet and snow conditions :)

Until next time! xoxo

Share Button