Tuesday, December 11, 2012


There are some moments that are worth reliving. Sometimes being away from home is difficult, but there are also some great things about southern California life. I celebrated Thanksgiving with The Engineer early since I would be in Cali working for the real deal. We only worked a few hours in the morning doing the bare essentials and got the rest of the day off and had a big meal catered for us mid afternoon. Since I was off early (read - during daylight hours) I went for a run on the beach, something I haven't been able to do since the time changed making it dark when I get off work. Before I walked over to Thanksgiving dinner I took a stroll to the cliff to enjoy the beautiful day :)
And a panoramic picture to sum it all up. Despite the way the picture makes it look, the cliff is pretty straight. 
So pretty. Another thing that was awesome when I returned from time off was Christmas lights in my complex! Made me super happy :)
One common occurrence on the beach is photo sessions. Typically families or couples. When I could run on the beach each night I would easily see 3-4 professional photographers capturing a period in time in someones life. I'm guessing the one below was an engagement session or something similar given the heart they made with the kelp on the beach. Creative, I like it.

Also captured that night, the Liberty Island (the dredge that is currently paying my bills ;-)) digging at sunset in the borrow area visible from my kitchen. 
Final thought: carnivore dinner with co workers. 
Yea, they were awesome. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Zoo and Mini Thanksgiving

I wanted to do something fun on my time off, and we happened to have free tickets to the zoo! Now I didn't have high expectations for the zoo, but they were exceeded so I consider that a success! The animals were pretty active. Some monkeys were displaying some impressive aerobatic skills and the tortoises were walking! We saw my favorite, the giraffes  :)
There was also a giraffe with black spots instead of brown ones. Something new every day! The elephants were pretty exciting too. This one was playing with a big barrel hanging from a tree, but the mean ol zoo keeper hung it inside the metal frame that is protecting the tree from being knocked over by the elephants, thus making it a little hard to play with! Nonetheless, the attempt at getting it out was probably just as entertaining as playing with the drum would be. Maybe even better since there was a challenge.
When were leaving the zoo we spotted someone with the most expensive camera lens I think I've ever seen. The funny part was that he was photographing some birds (I don't remember what they were but it was something like a duck or a pelican...nothing crazy) that weren't very far away, and I believe they were surrounded by Disney rock....so not too sure what he really needed his crazy expensive lens for. Whatever it was, I'm sure the picture was absolutely awesome!
I decided I wanted to cook an early Thanksgiving dinner for The Engineer and myself to enjoy together since I would be on rotation for the real thanksgiving. I didn't realize that I had never cooked a turkey before! (Ok I cheated, I cooked a turkey breast, but a whole turkey would have been overkill). We made our own cranberry sauce which turned out pretty good! I was glad we took the time to do it :) 

I then had my second Thanksgiving when I got to San Diego, while it was fun, the food was all catered, so you couldn't taste the love. It was still nice to get together. And since it was Thanksgiving and all, we only worked a few hours that day. So I went for a run on the beach thus getting in my turkey trot after all :-D Getting off work early is a big treat now that the sun sets so early out here...4:45 and its below the horizon! Yeeps! Not a big fan of daylight savings. I wish we could vote on it. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I found some interesting tid-bits while browsing the interwebs recently. One that really sparked my interest was an article from CNN reporting that drinking coffee could reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Coffee could cut skin cancer risk - CNN

This mainly caught my eye because of the ridiculous number of times I put sunscreen on each day at work. My number one preventive motivator is to reduce the blazing tan lines I am destined for. The raccoon line around my eyes is already pretty intense, and though I try to wear shirts with different length sleeves each day, there is a line that is forming on my arms. I don't worry about the tan on the back of my neck too much because I cant see it. Though, I know that one is getting intense too. Note to self: make sure hair on wedding day covers back of neck! My second motivator is preventing a burn. Maybe my priorities are a little backwards, but they result in the same action.

I put sunscreen on 1-4 times per day, depending on how long I'm on the beach and whether or not the coast is completely covered by fog. It is pretty freaky when the fog rolls in because you can see it coming, and it is so intense.

Coming back to the article, I have heard and read many studies claiming positive and negative effects caused by coffee consumption, just never heard this one. I thought it was convenient that I more often than not (much more often than not) start my day with coffee at work, and more often than not (much more often than not) spend the majority of my day in the sun. If that morning coffee helps reduce my risk of skin cancer, then bring on the morning joe!

Another note on my morning coffee from work - we have a  Keurig coffee maker. We have had many types of  K-cups, and none (in my opinion) are that great. The Starbucks dark roast even forced me to put cream in my coffee which I never do anymore. And that's really unfortunate because Starbucks is my favorite coffee. Not that I'm complaining - its free. Just not something I would get for my own home. It makes the french press amazing on my time off :)

The other article I really thought was interesting was also from CNN and it reported that popcorn was a major source of polyphenols. Given my obsession with it...there is no need to explain why I fully support this claim that popcorn is a good source of some of the nutrients our body needs :)

Popcorn Rules

Ha! Win.

I am currently working on making some upgrades in the food department; mainly the transport of it so I can always have good eats no matter where on the job I am. Pretty excited about it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Daily Dones

I wrapped up my To Do list quite nicely the last few days.

My lasagna was yummy...just the way mom makes it :)

We had some early cool weather roll in. I took advantage by going on a run. in. the. middle. of. the. day. Crazy talk. Sadly my tummy did not agree with that mid day run, so it was quite brief. I still enjoyed the breeze and opened the house up.

 The open windows made me wash the sheets because nothing goes better with a fresh breeze than clean fluffy sheets. Mmmm <3 I think my favorite thing about fall is opening the house up and letting the breeze rush trough. Today I even used it to help me clean! I didn't move anything off the counters that might blow away, instead I left everything where it was when I opened the windows and decided that anything that moved needed to be put away anyway. It worked very well even though a few extra dust bunnies blew out from under furniture the day after I cleaned the floors :)

I also made The Jump.

This was a huge step for me in life. I had admired others who had taken it but was never quite sure if I could handle it. I thought I might make The Jump someday, but never seriously contemplated it. I didn't even consider it when I bought a new pair of shoes that would support this big step. And when I finally made The Jump, it wasn't until after that I realized that it was meant to be.

I made The Jump and bought my first pair of skinny jeans.

That just so happen to show off the new shoes that I bought and love. 

I am now lost in the world of save the dates for the wedding. I can't decide what style I want to go with there are just so many cute options out there! Must do more research!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daines: meet blog world

Hi world o' bogging! I've got several reasons for my unpredicted entrance. I have been reading several blogs for a while now and there are a few that I love. They share their life experiences and as a result of their generosity I have gained helpful insight on life, learned new workouts, and tried some awesome recipes. They have an online network and seem to really enjoy it. Some of my recent life changes seem to be pointing me in this direction lately.

I just graduated from the University of Central Florida and started an engineering job with a dredging company. It requires me to maintain a rigorous travel schedule which makes contact with friends, new and old more difficult. Here all my old friends and family can keep up with my shenanigans and they can keep me updated on theirs. It also presents the opportunity to meet folks with similar interests in my various travel destinations.

My current work destination is San Diego, and it totally rocks! My apartment is on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. No, that was not a typo. My place rocks.

The Pacific, btw, is quite chilly compared to the Atlantic. And breeds surfer and big sharks. Makes me stray from open water swimming here. Sad face. But the sunsets are awesome!

One of my favorite activities is running on the beach. As far as triathlons go, I rock the swim. Which is awesome since I'm a self-taught swimmer. On the other hand it is a little sad since I didn't ever do competitive swimming in high school or college outside of triathlons. Didn't realize there was talent there. Oops! Once I get to the bike I can usually hold my own. Mind you, I don't do an crazy big long or highly competitive triathlons. Just local sprint distances (though I do have a goal of doing an Ironman someday, not too soon, but not too far either!). Anyway, women in my age group rarely pass me on the bike and since I usually come out of the water in a good position, I generally start the run in a good position. Funny how that math works out. Then I reach my downfall. The walk *ahem* run. I have struggled with running. A lot. Generally at least half of the race field passes me on the run. Usually more. Yes, really.
It has been a recent focus of mine to improve my run. I didn't do any tris this season in light of finishing my thesis, graduating, moving, starting a new job, international travel, excuses, excuses, etc. This, however, gives me a great opportunity to focus on my run. Its been getting better, but due to a lack of consistency I've been on a bit of a plateau. The beach that just so happens to be right below my apartments makes the prospect of a run more enjoyable. Its beautiful so I try to distract myself with that instead of how much I am not enjoying the physical activity my body is engaged in. It has been working. At first my runs on the beach were much slower than my usual, which was to be expected due to time off and the increased difficulty in the sand. I have been getting faster on the sand though and my distances have been improving. And I always include the massive staircase up to my apartment complex in my runs.
This usually puts me near death (its 120+ steps), but the multiple other people running staircases keeps me motivated. As do the crazy numbers of other active people. If I am dragging on my way home from work I can usually find inspiration from the oogles of runners and cyclists I see on my way home from work. The running and biking communities here are crazy compared to what I am used to back home in FL. Pretty sad I don't have my bike in CA, but I wouldn't have much time for it given the shorter daylight hours (darn you daylight savings!! Nov 4th FYI) and working weekends. All the more excuse to work on my running. My goal for my next work rotation is to start following a training schedule again. Which means I should make one of those. Add that to the list. I also need to pick a race to shoot for, because I am very goal oriented and this will help my cause!
Other goals for the day:
1. Buy book for plane and spend more time considering a Kindle for Christmas.
2. Buy some wedding decorating supplies. Eep!
3. Work on creating wedding decorations with said supplies.
4. Make big lasagna for dinner so The Engineer and I can eat tonight (necessary for life!) and so he can have yummy left overs for work.
Off to errands.