2016 Cancer Fundraiser

FFPK Odin

Last year, my girlfriend completed a no makeup challenge to raise funds & awareness for the BC Cancer Foundation. It was the inaugural fundraising challenge for the female chapter of Family Photos Kelowna. The “family” shares the same fundraising & awareness goal across all chapters.

When this years’ challenge opened, I decided I wanted to take part. This September, FFPK is committing to 30 days of healthy living. As summer is my favourite time to indulge a little more, this challenge seemed like the perfect fit. The added bonus of raising money for a good cause made it a no brainer.

There are some general guidelines for the challenge, but everyone has been encouraged to make it their own. I love reading everyone’s personal goals & outlook on what a month of healthy living means to them. You can check out all the campaigns here; there’s an awesome assortment of things going down this month.

For me, I’ve noticed I feel my best when I’m not eating gluten, soy, or dairy. I know Paleo can be a little controversial sometimes, but I’ve never felt better than when I eliminated those few things from my diet. I also find it keeps my psoriasis in check, which is an amazing side effect. I’m excited to get back on track for a full month. Although we’ve never fully gone back to our old way of eating, I’ve enjoyed a lot of cheese & a fair bit of beer over the summer.

In addition to eating Paleo this month, I’ll be severely cutting alcohol. The challenge allows for half a glass of red wine a day. There’s a penalty if we cheat on this rule so I will be donating $20 for the two days I’m in Kelowna this month for a wine tasting & a wedding. Aside from that, my goal is to stick to no drinking.

Fitness-wise, I’m endeavoring to get my sweat on 3x a week for at least 30 minutes. I’ve been meaning to check out the November Project for a while & this is the perfect opportunity to get my butt in gear. I’m kicking it off tomorrow at McMahon Stadium, & I’d love to see some of my lovely friends out there if they’re up for it. (Meet at the SE Gate at 6:13 AM!) I’ll also be biking, running, spinning, swimming, & getting my gymnastics on this month!

You can find my personal campaign here, but a donation isn’t the only way you can support me this month. Cheerleaders are just as valuable in a challenge of this kind, so I hope at least some of you are willing to join me in a workout from time to time (or simply remind me to get my ass out of bed & to November Project). Let’s get after it, friends!

Odin \\ 20 weeks

ODIN (2)

I’m a little bit behind on this month’s post, & honestly, it’s mostly going to be photos. I figure that probably isn’t an issue though. Who doesn’t like puppy photos?!

Odin Stampede

Stampede Puppy Party

O & N

Penny & Odin

Penny & Odin

Penny & Odin, BFFs

Odin Cuddles

This month was a busy one for us, & Odin spent some time with his “cousin”, Penny. Those two can play for hours. Penny really holds her own too, even though she’s a fraction of the size. Developmentally, I’m noticing the biggest leaps in the way Odin plays with others. At 16 weeks, he was much more aloof & didn’t really know how to mouth them gently. He is still nippier than an older dog, but he’s learning!

Puppy Party

Puppy Party

Puppy Party

Odin Odin

Odin

Adorable bandana from Bark YYC. Thanks Jan!!

He also had a couple opportunities to play with Willow, my friend D’s three-legged rescue. She’s an incredible dog, but the first time they played, Odin was so young & had no idea how to handle her play style. Now they chase each other around & roll & jump. It’s so fun to watch him figure it out. She has this absolutely lovely backyard right behind Nosehill park that I suspect we’ll be frequenting pretty often for puppy playdates.

FFPK Odin

Reppin’ FFPK

FFPK Odin

FFPK Odin

New Mat Odin

new mat

He also did some swimming this month. First in a pool at daycare & then in the lake. I wish I had saved the snapchat videos I made, but I totally dropped the ball on that one. I do have some pretty cute photos of him in the water with me though. We managed to get him to jump off the back of the boat twice on his own before he got scared. To be fair, it did seem pretty high for him, so I’m quite proud of him for being so brave! (I tried to group all the little swimming photos together, cuz I can’t choose which to post!) He was a total gem out at the lake & we had a great weekend with my parents!

Odin Swimming

Swimming Lessons

Odin Doggy Paddlin'

Doggy Paddlin’

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Always watching us in the water

O & N

My Boys

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Dad & Odin

Snuggles

Odin sleeps

Tired, wet pup

Odin still doesn’t love being left alone, but he deals with it much better. A couple weeks ago, I decided to take away his puppy pad since he was just eating them & the idea of him ingesting the weird absorbent goo bothered me, & he’s had relatively few “accidents”. I still bike him every day at lunch to let him out & give him some lunch, but he’s doing a great job at making it for four hours.

Odin & Adam

Odin & Adam

Watchdog Odin

Watch Dawg

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On Your Mat

On our mats! 😉

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We still tend to go through a rough patch after N leaves. I think his schedule really confuses Odin. It’s tough going from having your buddy home all day to never seeing him. Poor guy is probably so confused. That rough patch seems so far behind us now though. We’ve moved on to a new one: eating. At first, I thought he was just teething, but we went to the vet & he might actually have some worms. We’ve got some antibiotics so he should be on the mend now. I’m hoping that’s the solution. I miss my happy little eater!

Odin's Gift

Our friends got N a lovely little gift!

Odin & Vi

Odin & Vi are the sweetest together!

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Odin spoons monkey

Spooning Garth

I’ve tried to narrow down the photos on this post. When I first uploaded them, there were 75. It’s tough though with an adorable mug like Odin’s. Everyone thinks their pup is the cutest, & I am certainly no exception.

Happy 5 month birthday, Odin! You’re almost half a year. I love watching you grow & going on adventures. I can’t wait for everything in store in the coming months!

xoxo

Mom (& Dad)

Rio 2016

London Olympic Pool

These Olympics. Wow,  these Olympics have been incredible. The women’s teams have put on an impressive showing so far, & I’m especially proud of the Canadian women’s swim team.

I know Swimming Canada promised to turn the program around more than a decade ago, but I still wasn’t completely prepared for them to follow through on that promise. The women’s team has stepped up this year. They’re here to show the world what they’re made of & I couldn’t be happier about it.

I’ve always loved the water, so it wasn’t a stretch when I decided I wanted to try my hand at racing. Over the next 8 years, competitive swimming became my passion. I lived, breathed, ate, & drank the koolaid (chlorine-aid?). I’d finally found my sport & it was my everything.

When it came time to “retire”, I wasn’t ready to leave the pool behind. I took on a team manager role for the Dinos &  started volunteering as an assistant coach for my former club team, UCSC. It was an incredible experience. I coached for several years before moving away for school. During that time I met so many great kids (who I’m now more likely to watch swim on TV or run into at the office. How’s that for making you feel old!). Maybe I shaped them, but I hope that, at the very least, the sport did. The sport shaped me like little else would, & I can only hope it did the same for them.

This week, I’ve watched these incredible women race their hearts out. They’ve blown me away. I’ve cried from sheer happiness for each of their successes, be it a podium finish, a PR, or simply a really tough race. Each has left me overcome with emotions & pride. This is what I’ve always hoped Canadian swimming could be. This is inspiring. They’re making history & I’m so happy to bear witness. I couldn’t  have dreamed up a better Olympic games performance, & it’s not even over yet!

This is everything I hoped for and more.

July in Instagram

& just like that we’re halfway through the summer. How does this time of year always go by so quickly?! I think it’s likely because there is so much going on in the beginning of July. We kick things off with Canada Day & then it’s go go go from there, with Stampede & my own birthday as well. It was a fantastic month, & I’m a little sad it’s already over, but here’s what we got up to, according to Instagram.

July2016IG

  1. Celebrating the lovely Karla with a wine tasting, brunch, Banff Springs spa day, dinner, & party bus bar crawl. Such a fun weekend with a great group of ladies!  #gettinghutched
  2. Odin got his first haircut & looks adorable. Since his cut, you can really see how long his legs are. He looks like a gangly teenager instead of a little fluff ball!
  3. We kicked off Stampede week by spending the first Saturday at our favourite tent, Nashville North. Dancing, great friends, & many rounds of drinks made for a fun night!
  4. Week two of Stampede, we were back at it. This time we met up with more of N’s friends & his sister & her friends. It was a hilarious (& ridiculous) night at the tent!
  5. Our delicious birthday (x3) meal at the Nash with my family. My birthday this year was all about great eats.
  6. Another birthday dinner, this time with my girl friends. We shared an incredible assortment of wine & small plates, & the totally spoiled me. My friends are fantastic!
  7. Dog Party! My best friend bought a house & it has this INCREDIBLE backyard. It’s seriously the best! We’re excited for many many dog parties. I love watching our pups play!
  8. Backyard wine dates with my work wife. She’s a member of Kelowna Female Family Photos, an awesome cancer fundraising group. We love their apparel. These tanks are the softest & comfiest I’ve ever worn! Check ’em out – it’s for a good cause so you don’t even have to feel guilty.
  9. We took little O out to the lake this weekend & did some swimming. He jumped off the back of the boat twice (to save me, of course), but isn’t super stoked about it. It’s a little high for him right now. He really enjoyed swimming for sticked off the shore though. He’s gonna be a water baby!

August & September are a little bit slower than July, which should be nice. I’m running the #Seawheeze next weekend, but the rest of the month is really chill. I think we will likely celebrate our wedding anniversary with a nice dinner, so if you have any suggestions, let me know (maybe Royale?!). Then in September, N gets knee surgery & we head to wedding in Kelowna. I can’t wait to pick up some more wine & celebrate a lovely couple.

Did you find this month flew by, or was it just me? How are you making the most of the rest of your summer? 

Thirty One\\ My Birthday Weekend

whoalansi.com

Thirty one. I guess I’m officially a 30-something now. My birthday was on Saturday & I spent pretty much the entire weekend celebrating. I got completely spoiled by both my friends & family.

To kick things off, I took Odin to daycare on Friday, which meant I got to join my coworkers for lunch. We went to a new spot (Backwards) nearby. It’s a restaurant by day & nightclub once the sun sets. They have a $10 lunch special this month & the food is quite good. We shared a bottle of wine, chatted, & in the end they took care of my bill. I work with such lovely people!

That evening, my family picked me up & we headed down to Inglewood for dinner. My mom, my brother, & I are all summer babies, so dad treated the three of us to a fantastic dinner at the Nash. I’ve come to expect great things from the Nash & the food certainly did not disappoint. We shared a trio of appetizers to start (in hindsight, probably too many fries. How do you choose between poutine & moules though?).

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Drinks at the Off Cut Bar

BUCKSKIN SOUR

I love Sours. The Nash’s Buckskin Sour is a real treat!

Dad + Brother

Dad & Brother

Mom + Alanna

Mom & I

The Nash YYC: Moules and Poutine

Moules & Poutine

The Nash YYC: Tartare of Alberta Beef

Tartare of Alberta Beef

Our mains were equally delicious. We each ordered something different & then shared their feature risotto. I could barely finish my meal, but I certainly wasn’t going to leave any duck behind. After dinner, we headed back to the house, opened a beautiful bottle of wine from Summerhill, & spent some quality time with little O before bed.

The Nash YYC: Duck

My Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Bing Cherry Jus, truffle pain perdu, beetroot, orange & thyme. Incredible!

Odin

Hanging with Odin & enjoying some wine with the fam.

Odin

Saturday was my actual birthday, & I’d decided to treat myself to a mani pedi. It was the best reward, especially since I’d started my day with a 2 hour training run (I’m running the Seawheeze in August!). I lucked out with some gorgeous sunny weather, so I spent the afternoon hanging outside with Odin & a nice cold glass of rose. No complaints there.

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Run & done. !7 km in the books!

Mani pedi & a good read

Mani pedi & a good read

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Hanging with Odin in the sun

I’d made a reservation for me & a few girlfriends at Pigeonhole. N & I had gone for my birthday last year & I was itching to go back with a bigger group so I could try more of the menu. Five of my lovely friends joined me & we picked a wide array of dishes off the menu, ordered some beautiful wines, & had the loveliest of evenings. They totally spoiled me, taking care of the bill. (Thank you so much, friends! You’re too wonderful!!) My friend Jan also got me a couple lovely gifts including my favourite Kelowna wine, local honey, some of her artwork, & wrapped in an adorable Bark YYC bandana, a smirnoff ice. Well played, Jan, well played. A couple of my other girlfriends dropped by as we were finishing dessert & bought me a glass of bubbly too, which was lovely. So spoiled!

thirty one

Ready for dinner!

Pigeonhole

We sat right by the kitchen so we could watch the action.

Pigeonhole

I love their mismatched china & gorgeous cutlery

Pigeonhole

Pigeonhole

Pigeonhole

I really should have gotten one with all of us

Pigeonhole

Thanks for the photo, Jan!

Pigeonhole

Just so happy!

Pigeonhole

Gull Valley Tomatoes with Sunflower, Sesame, Nori

Pigeonhole

Amazing white salmon special with crispy skin & edamame.

Pigeonhole

Grilled Duck Leg with Coconut, Peanut, Thai Basil & Charred Cabbage with Mimolette, Jalapeno Salad Cream

Pigeonhole

Lamb Breast with Mint, Cress, Apricot

Pigeonhole

Spoons for sharing dessert

As we got into our second bottle of wine, I forgot to take photos of the rest of our meal. We also ordered the zucchini, chicken liver mousse, beef tartare, & clam casino. I loved everything we ordered, but my favourites were the clams, the lamb, & the chicken liver mousse. Definite winners!

Afterward dinner we headed back to my house where a couple other friends joined us. Odin was definitely ready for some company so we had a couple drinks before everyone headed home to bed. It was as close to perfect as a birthday without N could be. Thank you so much, friends!

The next morning, the birthday treats continued with brunch with my sister in law & my brother in law’s girlfriend. We snagged a spot outside at Container Bar. They serve most of the Brasserie brunch menu, which is fantastic.

Container Bar Brunch

Lovely ladies at brunch

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Jules hiding 😉

Dogs in the yard

All the doggies & a beautiful backyard

doggies in a yard

Doesn’t get much better than this

I spent the rest of the day outside with my sister in law, checking out a friend’s fantastic new backyard (& letting the pups play together) & then having a few drinks in our yard. It was such a great day!

Leading up to my birthday I wasn’t sure if I even felt like celebrating, but I’m so glad I did & feel so grateful for my great friends & family for giving me a spectacular birthday weekend. You guys are the best!

Odin \\ 16 weeks

Odin 16 wks

Our little buddy reached the four-month mark last week! It’s really cool watching him grow & seeing more of his personality coming out. Since I last updated, he’s gotten a haircut & is almost finished his 6 weeks at puppy school.

He’s been spending some time with my in-laws lately. They also have a new puppy, Penny, & they are getting along so well! She’s a teeny tiny Bichon Yorkie, but she totally holds her own with him. It’s really cute watching them interact together.

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Odin

Odin

Sit!

Sit!

Odin

Odin

Odin

Odin

So tired after playing in the water!

Penny Odin

Meeting Penny for the first time!

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Can you even see, Odin?

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He’s definitely grown a lot since we first got him, but it’s even more apparent since his first haircut. All of a sudden he looks a lot more like a lanky teenager than a tiny fluffy puppy. He’s lost a couple of teeth in the last week so we’re gearing up for some fun teething times. He’s also had a little bit more teenage attitude lately, but we’re working through it with time outs.

Odin's first haircut

After his adorable little haircut!

Odin's first haircut

Odin's first haircut

Chillin’ with Garth

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Odin's first haircut

This little face! <3

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Odin loves any toy with a squeaker (Snakey Snake, Garth, & Ned), Beef Liver Treats, long walks, cuddles on the couch when he’s really tired, his kennel, the spot beside the couch (he’s a little too big for under it now), & pretty much any person he meets.

Odin doesn’t like to do anything he doesn’t want to do, being left alone for too long, antibiotics, having his feet wiped after a pee, & saying goodbye to Penny before he’s ready.

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Odin's first haircut

Sitting like a good pup

Once again, I’ve got a little video on YouTube. It’s mostly a compilation from Snapchat & not the greatest quality, but it’s fun to make these little videos & look back Odas he grows. He’s changing so much every month!

We love you so much, little lion! xo

June in Instagram

This month’s recap almost didn’t happen. I was thinking about a different post I’m working on, when today’s date popped into my head & I realized I hadn’t done this yet. Whoops! Needless to say, I’ve been a little bit preoccupied lately. Taking care of puppy has been a pretty big undertaking & I’ve mostly been doing it on my own. Luckily, we have some great family members who’s been willing to step in, & I’ve finally been taking them up on that offer. Next step, getting O trained enough that I won’t feel terrible if my friends come take care of him. He’s learning more every week. We’re almost a week into July already, which means Stampede is around the corner & then I’m pretty sure summer is going to fly by, as it usually does. Let’s take a minute here though & look back on what we got up to in June, according to Instagram.

June in Instagram

 

  1. I think Odin looks a little like Simba sometimes, so I couldn’t resist this shot of N with him. This was at the very beginning of June so I can’t believe how tiny he was!
  2. Girls night in with Odin. We ordered thai, opened some wine, & spent the evening catching up with each other. I’ve known these girls since Jr High & am so glad we still make time to hang out even if it’s becoming less frequent.
  3. Odin got to meet lot of friends & their babies this month! & I got to catch up with this awesome little family twice – once at our BBQ & once on this lovely morning when they made me breakfast.
  4. I’m training for the SeaWheeze in Vancouver in mid August. Been getting some training runs in & working on being more consistent with my long runs. We’ll see if I make that goal in July.
  5. I can’t decide which Odin photo is my favourite, but this one is definitely up there. I cleaned up my converse, put them on, & he immediately went for the laces. Everything is delicious when you’re a pup!
  6. My boys. Odin isn’t often cuddly, but when we do manage to convince him, it’s pretty great. A surprise father’s day dinner wasn’t a bad way to spend our Sunday either!
  7. I’m part of an awesome ladies’ brunch crew called Bitches be Brunchin’. Someone different hosts every 6 weeks. This month, Jan picked Raw Canvas for our brunch. I was initially a little nervous about how my painting would turn out, but it’s growing on me.
  8. I can never resist Anju so when Heather & Brittany suggested we go to the Asian Association dinner, I couldn’t say no. H & I had gone in 2014 & it was incredible. This year didn’t fail to disappoint either – I’ll have to do another post about it (cuz I don’t have enough Anju posts! haha.)
  9. I capped off the month with Meet.Eat.Compete. This time I went with some coworkers. David & Michael got a huge game (30 people!!) of Two Rooms & a Boom going. I love that game! We also played some Coup, Cartagena, & One Night Werewolf. Such an awesome start to the long weekend!

Spring BBQ

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After three years of living in a condo with no outdoor space, we were pretty stoked to finally have a house with some. Early this spring, we made plans to host our first BBQ. We picked a weekend when N would be home & started planning, cleaning up the yard,  & purchasing the necessities for hosting a BBQ, such as an actual BBQ.

Two little babies getting cuddles!

Two little babies getting cuddles!

puppy baby

The day finally arrived, & although it wasn’t the gorgeous sunny I’d hoped for, it was warm enough to bbq and enjoy some time outside.

I made a couple salads & we provided buns, chips,  & burger toppings. Of course, being the awesome blogger that I am, I didn’t pull my camera out until later in the day. The salads seemed to be a hit though, especially my take on Chrissy Teigen’s potato salad. Girl can cook – buy the book if you haven’t already.

A couple of our adorable guests

A couple of our adorable guests

Her facial expressions are so cute

Her facial expressions are so cute

Chatting

Outside Chats

Outside Chats

Things got rolling pretty early in the day with our first guests arriving around 3:30 pm. This is how you know you’re in your thirties – your parties start when the little ones wake up from their naps. For the first few hours, our main house guests were under the age of three. They were all great sports, including our little guy. Odin was super chill with everyone & a real sweetheart with the little guys. He continually impresses me!

tired puppy

A very tuckered out puppy

tired puppy

Moved to his fav spot under the couch

tired puppy

puppy snuggles

Puppy Snuggles

puppy snuggles

As the babies & their parents headed home, the younger crowd joined us. The beer long table came out, & things got a little rowdier. Just a little rough, we were still in bed by 1 am – a pretty early night compared to some of our parties!

BBQ

Beer Pong

Beer Pong

Beer Pong

This sequence is funny. The boys definitely didn’t agree with a call!

Beer Pong

Beer Pong

Beer Pong

Overall, I think it was a big success. I love hosting parties & getting my friends together in one place. We even had a surprise visit from Heather’s parents at one point! I spent a huge chunk of my final years of university at their house so they were more than welcome.

Do you enjoy hosting friends in your house? What’s your go to salad recipe for a big group?

Odin \\ 12 weeks

ODIN

Our little guy is 3 months old this week! I can’t believe we’ve already had him home for a month. He’s such an amazing addition to our home & we love him so much.

Odin

Still loves this position

Still loves this position

He’s growing like a weed & getting into everything. While he’s more work than I ever imagined, I also love him more than I thought possible. I guess it’s an ok trade off.

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Odin

This week N is back in town. I can’t wait to see these two bond some more over the next week. He’s pretty attached to me so I think it’ll be good for him to get some one on one time with N, & I’m looking forward to the break from biking home every lunch hour. Trying to manage his needs while working full time is a definite challenge.

At 12 weeks, Odin:

-loves to chew everything.

Odin & Snakey Snake

Odin & Snakey Snake

-doesn’t like to be left alone for too long.

Crated Odin
-has recently been introduced to peanut butter, & is a HUGE fan. Like huge.

Peanut Butter in his Puppy Kong

Peanut Butter in his Puppy Kong

PB Kong
-will reliably sit for treats.

Odin sit
-is learning to “leave it” & get “off”, for treats, of course.

-rings his bell to go potty outside more consistently every day.

-tolerates late-night snuggles.

Odin Snuggles
-loves his kibble.

Odin

-loves the yellow pillows & white blanket on the couch (probably cuz they’re off limits).

Running for a blanket attack

Running for a blanket attack

-adores people of all shapes & sizes (kids too!).

Meeting baby Sophia

Meeting baby Sophia

Kisses for Soph

Kisses for Soph

Odin & Sophia

-is starting to like other dogs. He had his first socialization class & it went pretty well.

He’s so playful, loving, & smart. I’m continually impressed by how quickly he manages to pick up things. We’re currently working on bite inhibition & hoping his puppy classes help with that. Everything is delicious to a puppy though!

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Odin

In honour of this little milestone, I’ve compiled some of my videos of this little guy. It’s not great quality, but I’ll share it here anyway!

Happy 3 month Birthday to my little lion. We love you, Odin!

La Manzanilla: Take Two

La Manzanilla

A couple years ago, a big group of us headed down to a small town in Mexico for one of the best week-long beach vacations I’ve ever had. We came home vowing it wouldn’t be the last time we spent time in La Manzanilla. & this winter, we made good on that promise.

Despite being hit by Hurricane Patricia in the fall, the town was almost exactly how I remembered it – that is to say, perfect. I didn’t think we would ever top our 2014 trip, but an extra couple days in paradise certainly didn’t hurt. This time, we stayed for 9 days instead of 7 & the extra couple of days were really lovely.

La Manzanilla

First photo always has to be of the view. I mean, can you blame me?

La Manzanilla

Unreal sunsets every night

Unreal sunsets every night

Settling into our villa

Settling into our villa

Starting things off right with tequila, duh

Starting things off right with tequila, duh

Walk into town

Walk into town

Estrella

Estrellas at Palapa Joe’s

Palapa Joe's

We had a slightly different group this time, but the key players were the same. We had a full house, but everyone got along really well again. Most of us are pretty low key & everyone felt comfortable either joining the majority or opting out to do their own thing. It worked out really well, & we usually met up at one of the palapas on the beach at some point in the day.

mexico

To the beach!

margarita

first margarita

sandcastles

sandcastles

mexico chill

dutch boy in mexico

boys being boys

beach

beach

beach dance class

mexican town

beach days

SUP

Heather killing it on the SUP

mexico

Beach Walks

beach

beach

beach

My beach bae

 

beach

beach

Catching waves

beach

beach

Most of our days consisted of sitting on the beach, eating, drinking, reading, & catching some sun. I rarely go more than five minutes without thinking about food, & La Manzanilla certainly doesn’t disappoint here. From the spicy garlic pulpo (octopus) to the incredibly addictive Breakfast BLTs to the street-side tacos, everything we ate was incredible. Most of it wasn’t fancy, but the fresh components of every dish really made our meals shine. My favourite meal was probably the pulpo at Azul – it was the most tender octopus I’ve ever eaten. I loved it so much, I ate it twice & am now wishing I’d had it a couple more times. There was just so much great food to try!

Tacos

Pedro’s Fish Tacos

margaritas

Delicious margs all day long

Pulpo

Azul’s pulpo is the stuff dreams are made of. Serioiusly.

Street Tacos

Street Tacos

Street Tacos

Enchiladas

Street Enchiladas hitting it out of the park

Street Meat

N waiting on his street meat

While most of our days were spent relaxing, we did have a couple different activities planned during our stay. The first was brunch with D’s family at the cutest spot down the beach. We did the same a couple years ago. Once again, the food was fantastic & the atmosphere was amazing. I mean, does it get any better than brunch with an ocean view? Afterwards, we opted to walk back to town along the beach, the same as last year. It’s a trek, but we enjoyed it once again.

brunch crew

Our crew at brunch

boutique hotel

The hotel

chilequiles

Gimme all the chilaquiles

beach walk

Beach Walk

beach walk

beach walk

Love Birds

beach walk

Therapy Hotel

beach walk

The town also has a crocodile sanctuary, so this year we decided to brave the walk through it. For a few dollars, we got to walk along a boardwalk for some  jawdropping  croc sightings. Most of these guys were HUGE. I have to admit, it felt a little sketchy. At the end of our little walk, we were treated to an opportunity to hold a baby croc. It was totally unexpected in a few ways, but namely that he was SO soft.

mexican streets

I love this street on the way to the cocodrilos

cocodrillos

cocodrillos

cocodrillos

WE ARE NOT SCARED

cocodrillos

cocodrillos

tiny guy

cocodrillos

one of many sketchy suspension bridges

cocodrillos

baby croc

cocodrillos

cocodrillos

so many babies!

cocodrillos

One of our friends also celebrated his thirtieth birthday. We rang in his birthday with a lovely sunset bar dinner followed by drinks & games (& way too many tequila shots). Not a bad way to spend your birthday, if you ask me!

sunset bar

Really tough to grab a drink here

margarita

My fav Mexico drink. Also the most dangerous.

sunset bar

Birthday Dinner

sunset bar

sunset bar

Sunset bar delivers an amazing sunset

sunset bar

sew kewt

sunset bar

sunset bar

The two lovebird & their wives

sunset bar

Yum!

sunset bar

sunset bar

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!

beer fridge

How we roll on vacation.

Overall, it was an incredible vacation with great company. This little town is the perfect beach vacation! The incredible food & beautiful accommodations keep me daydreaming about our next trip down even months later. I can’t imagine going to an all inclusive again now after the two incredible experiences we’ve had in La Manzanilla.

mexico dogs

Pups on a roof

mexico streets

main street

la manzanilla

la manzanilla

great breakfast spot

old truck

la manzanilla

end tan

final tans

It was pretty hard to limit this post in terms of photos – this place is so photogenic, & we had a fantastic time. It would’t have been the same without this crew though. #squadgoals

squad goals

squad goals

squad goals

Thanks for the best winter getaway a girl could ask for friends! (& if you made it to the end of this post, congrats! 😉 )