Reading List for the Next Few Months

Holy crap! Y’all came through with book recommendations in a big way, and now I’m like a kid in a candy store trying to figure out which one to read first. I’ll share many of the recs below, but first let me tell you a smidge about my day.

I went to the gym this morning and covered 4.57 miles during a 40-minute tempo run. Apparently I was… really tired… because look what I typed into my phone about this run right after I finished:


Oh, honey, no. Not even close. How about “40 min tempo 4.57 mi”?

But somehow this morning my brain was like, “Yes, this is definitely what I want to type.” I blame two straight nights of The Bachelor. So mentally and emotionally taxing.

Then I got ready for work and, in a nod to the day’s forecast — sunny, low 50s — busted out a new striped short-sleeved tee. I can’t waaaait for spring to arrive!


Sorry for the weird/blurry pic. My selfie game is clearly off due to my lack of blogging.

Anyway, this tee is so comfortable and just a hair more stylish than your average tee (although hard to tell that on me). Here it is if you’d like join the stripey club.

On to the books!

Several of you mentioned Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I know the movie starring Reese Witherspoon is coming out this year, so I’ll try to read it before then!

Robin recommended several books, including Wild (dang, girl! so well-read):

– The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

– The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (sounds like a great contender for book club!)

– Hell on Two Wheels by Amy Snyder

– The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

– A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington

– Love Does by Bob Goff

– The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

– A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Lauren from apureadventure let me know that if I turn the Wi-Fi off on my Kindle, my checked-out book won’t go anywhere until I’m done with it. Oh, snap! Thanks, Lauren! She also recommended:

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (just downloaded this one!)

sitcomofmylife recommended a trio of books by Alice Sebold:

The Almost Moon (just downloaded this one!)

The Lovely Bones (I have read this and seen the movie)

Lucky (her memoir)

And there are many more recommendations in the comments of my last post, so check ‘em out! Thanks to everyone who contributed their picks!

Time for me to get ready for bed and finish my current book. I’ve got one last super-early gym morning tomorrow, and then Friday is my rest day! Woo-hoo!

Early Bird and Reading Revival

I can’t remember why I woke up early one January day to go to the gym in the morning instead of after work, but I did and I LOVED it.

My gym is very crowded right after work, so it’s often tough to find a parking space and a free treadmill. Plus there’s traffic on the way there, tons of nekkid bodies in the locker room, etc.

In the wee hours of the morning, there are no cars on the road. There are plenty of parking spaces. I have my pick of treadmills. Plus, I get to relax in the evenings!

So I’ve taken to waking up at 4:30/4:45-ish to hit the gym and pay my sweaty dues before work. It’s not quite as nice as when I used to wake up around the same hour to do sunrise runs at Green Lake in the summer, but it’s a vast improvement over gym rush hour!


Actual Green Lake sunrise last August. Can’t wait for more of this!

In other news, I’ve committed to reading more this year. I love checking out e-books from the library on my Kindle and reading on the bus to and from work.

I’m kind of obsessed with memoirs and biographies, but I’m mixing in some fiction, too. Here’s what I’ve read so far this year:


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling (very funny)

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant – Dan Savage (interesting look at the early years of gay adoption)

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (gripping! couldn’t put it down!)

Oprah: A Biography – Kitty Kelly (juicy!!)

Bossypants – Tina Fey (interesting, but not as funny as Mindy’s book)


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – Jamie Ford (interesting novel about the evacuation of Japanese from Seattle following the bombing of Pearl Harbor)

I got a ton of reading done in January because I spent several hours on planes and a whole week on vacation, but I was much slower with my reading this month — just one book that I’m rushing to finish before my e-book checkout expires in three days! I’ll try harder next month. 🙂

Some friends and I are starting a book club (aka: wine club where we talk about books a little bit), so I need some book suggestions to bring to our first meeting in mid-March.

Give me your best fiction picks, Tumblr!

Wedding-Planning Updates!

Aaron and I have been making steady progress with planning our wedding, which is now only a little over seven months away!

Wow. That seems like it’s coming up really quickly!


We wanted one of our wonderful engagement photos to be the star of our save the dates. I found a few designs that I liked online, and Aaron used them as inspiration to create this lovely announcement!


This is an iPhone pic of an actual printed save the date, so the quality and colors are not as good as in real life — but you get the idea. I love how it turned out!


We originally planned to save money by just creating an iPod playlist for the wedding, but then we couldn’t figure out who would man the iPod. We also realized we wanted a pro to be in charge of the party and act as emcee, managing the flow of activities (first dance, toasts, tossing things, etc.).

After scouring reviews and finding nothing but good things about this guy, we hired DJ Marc Sense of Integral DJs. He is totally organized, responsive, and down to play whatever we want to hear and nothing we don’t.

I’m busy curating a highly sophisticated mix of 80s music, current hits, and songs featuring Pitbull.


Next, we tackled the most fun and exciting bit of wedding planning by far… CUPCAKE TASTING!


This was my tasting plate. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Aaron and I love New York Cupcakes like nothing else, so it was a no-brainer to do wedding cupcakes rather than a traditional wedding cake. We wound up choosing SEVEN amazing flavors.








Shut. It. Down.

If you’re vegan or gluten-free or sugar-free, sorry — try a different wedding. We’re going full-on at this wedding and nobody can stop us.

Aaron and I will have two of our very favorite Cookie Dough Delight cupcakes waiting for us at the top of the cupcake tower. The half-baked cookie dough inside of the cupcake looks like this (photo from 2012):


I rest my case.


I still have not chosen a wedding dress (I know, I know), so choosing bridesmaid dresses was not really hi-pri in my mind… until last week, when I saw that J. Crew was offering 25% off all bridesmaid dresses!

I worked at J. Crew for three years in college, so I’ve seen tons of their bridesmaid dresses and always secretly hoped to have J. Crew dresses in my wedding. But they are on the steeper side of price ($250-ish), and I was very conscious of (a) not wanting to ask my bridesmaids to spend too much, and (b) wanting to choose something my bridesmaids would like (or at least not totally resent). 

So, we jumped on the sale! I chose the color and fabric, and left the style up to each bridesmaid to choose for herself. Some girls ordered a few different styles and will choose which one they like best once they try them on, so I don’t know what the final choices will look like yet, but here’s a sampling of what they chose:





I love the deep purple color online, so I hope it’s just as beautiful in person! We shall see.


I will decide either this Saturday, March 1, or next Saturday, March 8. (I will decide. I will decide. I will decide.) I’m going to hit up two stores that I’ve already visited and re-try my fave dresses, plus try a few new dresses that I really like online and have finally arrived in-store. I’m excited to choose something once and for all and check this off my list!


That’s all for now. We still have details like flowers, decor, and a few other things to tackle, but we’re feeling really good about how much we have done.

It’s feeling real now. And I can’t wait!

Long Running

Dear Tumblr,

Please don’t confuse my lack of blogging with lack of running. I’m running the Lake Sammamish Half in two weeks and have been kind of nailing my training for the past few (post-vacation) weeks.

I run five days a week, and lately four of those days have been at the gym. But I always do my long run outside, rain or shine or SNOW.


We got a good three inches of snow two weekends ago, and Aaron joined me for a 10-mile jaunt at Green Lake. So fun!


Last weekend, I did my long run on the Lake Sammamish Trail so I could get used to running on the gravel prior to the race. (You may remember this race as the one I PR’d at last year!) I was also trying to beat a big rainstorm, so I ran pretty fast (for me).


Not gonna lie… felt like a bit of gangsta after this run.

My 11-mile run today rounded out a 30-mile week of training, and despite trying to slowww down, still ran kind of fast. That either means I will run kind of fast during the half marathon or I’ll blow up and bonk. Fun odds!


I’ll try to slow down for next weekend’s 12-miler and negative split it to practice for the race. 

Ummm, I forgot how to gracefully end blog posts, so I’m just gonna go now.


It’s our second to last day in Maui! Here’s a quick summary of the trip:

Sunday: Arrive, get rental car, check into AirBnB room, eat.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: RAIN, RAIN, RAIN. Very hard rain. Nonstop. Eat, drink, watch movies, eat and drink some more. Curse the rain.

Thursday, Friday: GLORIOUS SUN! Finally! Go to the beach, swim, eat, drink.

Saturday (today): Still sunny, so far! Rain is in the forecast. G–d— tropical-ass island.

I have managed to run nearly every day, although not very far (but enough to forge a shorts tan line that will plague me for the rest of the year). Either the rain was too cold and heavy (torrential, really) or the sun was too harsh for my wimpy self. Here’s what I’ve managed:

Monday: 3 miles, 8:38 pace

Tuesday: 4 miles, 9:06 pace

Thursday: 3.5 miles, 8:53 pace

Friday: 3.5 miles, 8:38 pace

Saturday (today): 5 miles, 9:18 pace

Today’s run included just under two miles run barefoot on the beach! Talk about a workout. I’d be so ripped if I did that every day.

Aaron brought his bike and has ridden nearly every day. On Thursday he rode to the summit of Haleakala (10,023 feet of elevation) in just under 3.5 hours, which is ah-mazing. It takes an hour to DRIVE it and it’s steep as shiz. He had tourists asking to take pictures WITH him at the summit. Badass.

Off to enjoy the last few days of vaycay! See more pics on my Instagram ( and on Aaron’s (