Weekend Recap || Love Can Change Your Direction

(Back in our old stomping grounds)

As I sit here in San Diego, celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, I cannot be more thankful for where my love for Shannon has taken me (If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s TJ writing today’s post)….

It’s strange, being in San Diego this weekend, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how I got to this point (happily married with a sweet little girl). I can’t believe I’ve been out of college for over 10 years…. and although we do this trip every year, I have been much more nostalgic this weekend thinking about my friends and how life has taken us all in different, albeit good, directions. I will never forget the day I left San Diego, after being done with my final course at USD. Since I graduated earlier than my friends,  I knew it was going to be hard saying goodbye to them and college life….

Fast forward a week later, I received a call from one of Shannon’s friends asking if I would be interested in going to a sorority dance called “Crush….” a Valentine’s themed event that kicked off the spring semester. Thinking big sister was trying to pawn off a freshman on me, I respectfully declined. Come to find out, it was not a freshman that needed a date, it was actually Shannon that was interested in going with me, but not wanting her identity to be known (the introvert that she is….). When I found this out…I was in utter disbelief. This was the girl I had a secret crush on for over a year. I always joked and called her the “computer lab girl…..”  somehow, our schedules aligned perfectly…every Tuesday and Thursday around 10:40am, we would find ourselves in the same place at the same time (the USD computer lab)…the only problem, I could not work up the courage to talk to her. So, instead, I would secretly check her out and try and figure out how I could somehow make our paths “unintentionally” cross. Fast forward a year, when I got home to OC, I thought my San Diego days were far behind me, however, that one call changed it all. While I did not go to the dance with Shannon, I made sure she knew I was interested in her. I frantically let her friends know of my interest once I found out she actually knew who I was. I got an opportunity to spend time with Shannon a few days later, and the rest is history.

We’ve now been married for 7 years (together 12 years as a couple) and while I am married to the woman of my dreams, having what I consider a successful marriage has been a lot of work. Love is hard. We are talking about 2 completely different people, with unique upbringings, sharing a home and life together….. add a child to the mix and another level of stress is added…..

However, being in San Diego this past weekend, where we come every year to celebrate…I could not be happier with where my life is now…. and where it is headed. Sure, we have the same challenges every couple does…. but at the core, we love each other deeply, we have the same goals for our marriage and as parents….

As someone who was very guarded with my heart in my younger days, whenI look back, I’m grateful I was able to be vulnerable with Shannon 12 years ago…. because, essentially, love changed the direction of my life. And as I go into this week, recharged and renewed, I hold this in the front of my mind. To be open to the experiences love gives me…. and to let it guide me. So, here’s to a week of letting love, whatever that love is for you (food, travel, etc.) be your guiding force.
– TJ

(Post SoulCycle brunch at Better Buzzed in Encinitas)

(My “A” ring was the perfect anniversary gift (Tj’s full name is Anthony)…. (pullover))

(Morning stair workout at the convention center… kicked my boot-ay)

(Post-workout boozy brunch)

(Opting to stay in with some take-out pizza and bubbly for our last night….)


This past week we made these quinoa sweet potato burgers and they were a HUGE hit in our house. If you’re looking for a meatless Monday, try these! They’re also good leftover if you want to double the recipe.

We’re in a major heatwave over here…. so I packed my suitcase full of warm weather clothing. I finally pair of jeansfound a (well, actually I bought them, returned them because I wasn’t 100%, bought a different pair, hated that pair, and then repurchased this pair…..) and love the distressing, relaxed fit, and high waist (I sized up to a 25… NO stretch). I wore it with this ruffle body suit and loved the classic look! The temperatures dropped in the early evening, so I brought this open knit sweater in white (which I had been eyeing since the beginning of January) and this black sweatshirt with a mock choker (so chic!). I also brought this cute white one shoulder top, and this gorgeous white flutter sleeve top. For the day I brought this gold straw hat (love the wide brim), chambray romper, my favorite blush slides (seriously so comfortable), distressed denim shorts, and my favorite white henley tank (which I tie in the front). We also went to a spin class and did a convention center stairs workout so I brought my favorite leggings, hoodie, and tie front tee.

A few other items sitting in my cart include this gingham tank (love the material for spring), this drop shoulder stripe top (so perfect for everyday life), cold shoulder sweater in blush (lightweight), grey open knit sweater with a deep v back (obsessed with open knits… can you tell??)…. oh, and I LOVE this basic t-shirt dress (I actually wear it backwards… it’s a v-neck in the back and I prefer that neckline…)… it’s so versatile and a great throw on a go everyday option (especially paired with a denim jacket and sneakers… or flats and a suede jacket if you need to dress it up a little).

Annnnnd, since little miss didn’t have any warm weather clothes, I of course had to get a few for her…. like this adorable chambray romper, white ruffle trim top, pull on ruffle shorts, pink gingham bubble suit, and these little espadrilles (which I bought for her last year too and loved).