Napa, CA Trip Day 4, Part 1: Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Alright we are back with the 4th and final day recap of our Napa trip! I am breaking day 4 into 2 parts; 1) Robert Sinskey Vineyards and 2) The French Laundry. The French Laundry deserves it’s own post. 🙂 But I don’t want our meal at The French Laundry to overshadow our AMAZING experience at Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

Missed the previous 3 days? You can check out day 1 here, day 2 here, and day 3 here.

Earlier that morning since I knew it would be a day of an exorbitant amount of eating and drinking, I knew I should get in a workout. My original intention was to hit the hotel gym. You know the one. The one that only has 2 treadmills and a space the size of a bathroom stall to lift weights. Well guess what? It was full.


So then my plan B was to walk outside on the trail.  I stepped outside and it was pouring rain. I was just about to bag the workout when suddenly I got the idea to run the stairwell in the hotel. Problem solved! I did that for 20 minutes and then went back to the room and did squats, pushups, and crunches. #noexcuses

After getting ready for the day, it was time to go to Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Not only is the vineyard itself beautiful but their food is amazing!! I mean look at this wood-burning oven!

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with a glass of wine and explored the lobby and dining room. We opted for the Perfect Circle Tour, which includes a stroll through the culinary gardens, an introduction to RSV’s estate Stags Leap District vineyard, an unveiling of the wine production cellar and a journey to the center of the barrel aging caves followed by an indulgent tasting of seasonal dishes from the Vineyard Kitchen accompanied by a flight of RSV wines. Then as we sipped our wine, we were given the tour of the grounds.

Loved the wrought iron structures to hold the wine. To keep the bottles in place they actually wrapped wire around each bottle neck to the iron frame.

Before we arrived at the vineyard, Greg and I agreed to not snack before The French Laundry. Well, that quickly went out the window after they brought out this board for us. Those pickles are life! I normally hate bread and butter pickles but these rocked! My mouth is watering….

We had a TON of fun at Robert Sinskey. Greg and I agreed that our next Napa trip we will visit this place again. After buying a few bottles and having them shipped back to our home, it was time for The French Laundry!!

To be continued… 😛

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #5

Hey hey we made it to Friday!!!! How was everyone’s week? I’ve been busy checking off my Christmas list which is soooo nice! This Friday I am not following a theme. We will just say it’s overall health and wellness 😉 Here we go!

#1 Athleta

Image result for athleta logo

I am OBSESSED with Athleta apparel. Every time I am browsing online or in the store I want to buy all the things! It is a bit pricey, but after experiencing the quality, comfort, and cuteness of their clothes, the sticker shock wore off. This stuff lasts forever and fits so nicely. I went to Fabletics yesterday just to try on their stuff out of curiosity. Yeahhhhh let’s just say I won’t be back. Any way, when I went to Athleta yesterday, I was on a mission to find some cardigans/wraps for lounging, running errands, etc. Well I scored and found 2 cardigans (the Luxe Pose Wrap and Pranayama Wrap) that are crazy soft. Use this code for 20% off one regular priced item. I am wearing one now. I can safely say it’s good for blogging activities 😛

#2 Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate

If you’re still drinking powdered hot chocolate, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Do yourself a huge favor and get the Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate ASAP! It’s not the holidays without this stuff. It’s rich and velvety and basically what dreams are made of. I plan on having a cup (or two!) by the fire this weekend with a book. I can’t wait 🙂

#3 Native Deodorant

I have been searching for a GOOD natural deodorant for awhile. I have been using your typical Secret deodorant and I always felt a burning sensation and occasionally an odd bump in my armpit. Yikes! I was trying other natural deodorants but they either didn’t work or had to be applied by hand. No thank you! Enter Native Deodorant (<—-referral link) . I found this product through another blog and after reading up on it, purchased it immediately. I love how smooth and soothing it is, as well as the yummy smells. Oh, AND it works!

So tell me, what are you feelin’ this week? Leave a comment by clicking the Comment link just below the blog post title 🙂


What I’m Feelin’ Friday #4

Happy First Friday of December!  Time to haul out the holly 😉  I get SO excited for the holidays. Hands down my favorite time of year to run. I am working on a running gift guide for you all, but in the mean time here’s another What I’m Feelin’ Friday! Today I am going to do a podcast-themed WIFF. I love podcasts because:

  1. I love to learn. There is such a variety of topics from business to science to health.
  2. They are free.
  3. It makes a long commute a little less painful.
  4. It makes aerobic cardio (stair climber, walking, elliptical) go by quicker.

Here are my favorite podcasts:

#1 The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

Lewis is a self-made entrepreneur who interviews guests that have made a difference in the world. He is all about gratitude, love, and kindness as well as going out there and being great. Think of him as the facilitator/curator of greatness. Among my favorite episodes are:

There are just so many episodes I love that I cannot possibly list them all. Episodes are between an hour to an hour 30 minutes. Here is the master list of all the episodes along with video/audio.

#2 The MFCEO Project Podcast

I first learned about MFCEO, Andy Frisella, on The School of Greatness podcast. Heads up: Dude is intense and uses a lot of curse words, which I don’t mind. So I think you can guess what MF stands for. This podcast isn’t for the faint of heart. Andy doesn’t sugar coat anything because guess what? Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows!! Andy inspires you to rise to adversity and challenge the status quo. Think of him as your business drill sergeant. He totally gets me pumped up and ready to go out there and kick some ass. Among my favorite episodes are:

Episodes can range from 12 minutes to an hour if there is a guest. You can find a master list of Andy’s podcast here.

#3 How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This logo

A podcast from NPR, Guy Raz interviews the top CEOs of globally recognized brands (read: Samuel Adams Brewing, Starbucks, Burton Snowboards, Chipotle, Airbnb, etc.) If you think this will be a boring Q&A session, think again. Each CEO takes you on the wild rollercoaster of growing their business from nothing. I have found myself saying out loud, “OMG what?! No way!!”. Amazing. Amazing. AMAZING. Among my favorite episodes are:

    • Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

    • Starbuck: Live Episode with Howard Schultz

    • Samuel Adams: Jim Koch

I literally love every single episode of this show. I always walk away with a nugget of wisdom from each CEO, from deciphering the difference between scary and dangerous to not taking a minute of your life for granted. Episodes last from 30 minutes to an hour. Check out a list of episodes here.

That’s all for now!  Tell me, what is your favorite podcast? To leave a comment, click the comment link just below the title of this blog post.

Napa, CA Trip Day 3: Road Trip to the Sonoma Coast

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I took a quick break from blogging to spend time with family and friends. Now back to it! Today we are continuing on with a day-by-day recap of my Napa, CA trip. Day 3 was a fun road trip from Napa to Healdsburg then down through the Sonoma Coast.

Missed the previous 2 days? You can check out day 1 here and day 2 here.

We woke up early to hit the road first thing since we had a long but fun day ahead of us. Luckily, the enormous amount of food we have been eating up until this point had us still full in the morning, so we were able to delay breakfast until we got to our destination. We drove through some of the most beautiful scenery on the way to Healdsburg.

Unfortunately we did drive through some areas that had been affected by the wildfires. I cannot even fathom the thoughts that were going through the minds of those who had to be evacuated. You could still smell the smoke as you drove through some of these areas.

After about an hour and 15 minutes of driving, we made it to Healdsburg. A small town known for its quaint shops and town square. Greg and I grabbed a quick breakfast and walked around and stopped at all the little shops. Fideaux, a boutique pet shop, in particular caught my eye because I was missing my dog Tadd. Definitely stop into this shop because they have the cutest dog and cat stuff you have ever seen! Since Tadd is the most destructive beagle ever, I opted for a stuffed turkey that was literally stitched so tightly that you couldn’t even squeeze it. The turkey only lasted a week haha! But it’s still around, minus the stuffing (get it!?).

The wing on the side cracks me up!

After some exploring around the square, it was time for our tasting with Ernest Vineyards at Grand Cru Custom Crush in Windsor, CA. As Greg and I  pulled up to the building we were awestruck by it’s cool modern design.  I’m a sucker for garage doors at breweries and wineries 🙂

Erin, one of the co-founders of Ernest Vineyards, and Nicole, the Hospitality Manager (I may be wrong on that title but I think it sounds pretty baller) rushed out to greet us and handed both of us a glass of Chardonnay. How’s that for a welcome?! They gave us the grand tour of the production facility and explained the various processes used to produce wine.

Then it was time to taste!  I absolutely loved the art on the labels and the story behind each wine name. My favorite in particular was “The Wrangler” named after Erin’s Great Aunt “Dude”, an honoree in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and all around bad ass woman.

After sharing some fun stories and great wine, it was time to say goodbye to Erin and Nicole 🙁 From there we hopped in the car and headed to Santa Rosa to make a quick beer stop at Russian River Brewing Company, famous for it’s Pliny the Elder beer. Definitely one of my favorite beers. After relaxing and rehashing how great our trip has been so far, it was time to head back to Yountville for dinner at Adhoc.

Adhoc has a set menu each night and serves the meal family style. Our menu that night was garden squash soup, a fresh garden salad with watermelon radishes and mustard vinaigrette, and steak with cheddar and pepper grits, and cabbage. So. Freaking. Good! I literally could have eaten 10 ponds of that steak. Perfectly cooked and just the right amount of seasoning.

So guess what we did after that? Went back to the hotel and fell asleep. Hard.

That’s a wrap for day 3!  Stay tuned for a recap of our final day, day 4, in Napa that concludes with the most mind blowing experience at the French Laundry. Be forewarned, don’t read the post while hungry 😛

Napa, CA Trip Day 2: Croissants, Caves, and Winery Cats

I’m back with day 2 of our Napa, CA adventures! If you missed day 1, check out the full post here.

On day 2, I woke up early due to being on east coast time. Which was fine by me because it gave me plenty of time to go for a run along the Napa Valley Vine Trail. I absolutely love to run on vacation. It gives me a chance to explore the area or just zone out and enjoy nature.  In this case, the trail was along some vineyards so I just zoned out dreaming of the yummy wine I’d be having later that day morning 😛

After a nice run, our first stop was to Bouchon Bakery for a light breakfast since we were still a bit full from the day before.

First off, this is why I run. Because I literally wanted to eat every single thing in that bakery. But I was good and ordered a chocolate croissant and cappuccino. For good measure, I ordered a sandwich cookie for Greg and I just in case we got lost driving from winery to winery. 😉

After we said goodbye to Bouchon, we headed to our first winery of the day, Schramsberg. Known for their sparking wine and rich history in the wine business. We chose to do the tour and limited production sparkling wines tasting. The winery grounds were absolutely beautiful and we got to tour the wine cave which was pretty cool and fun to learn the history about the family and the cave. Greg and I have actually had their wine before so that’s why we chose to do the limited production sparkling wines tasting.  Schramsberg did not disappoint!

And they had a winery cat!! This started my obsession with asking every single winery if they had a winery cat or dog lol.

After saying goodbye to the kitty and awesome Shramsberg staff. We headed to St. Helena for lunch at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. This was hands down our favorite restaurant of the trip, other than French Laundry (spoiler alert! blog post to come on that!). The grounds that the restaurant was on was really cool. It was a compound with the restaurant, a general store, a cafe, a garden, and all sorts of other areas to explore. What a cute place!

But the food….my mouth is watering as I type this!! To start we had the mini ham sandwiches.  Mark my words, I will recreate this at home! It was basically small cheddar biscuits with salty ham and pepper jelly. To save room for dinner, Greg and I split the grass-fed cheeseburger. I was craving beef after having all that chicken the day before LOL. It was amazing!  The beef was so fresh and the avocado was so flavorful. I highly suggest everyone stop by here.

So what’s there to do after you eat so much food?!  DRINK MORE WINE!!! 😛

After Farmstead, we headed to ZD Wines. Which I have a slight obsession with because it was started by two aerospace engineers who had a love for entrepreneurship and winemaking. Which then ties into my love for Neil degrasse Tyson and people who live their passions! The people at the winery were so nice and I really enjoyed their wines.

Greg and I bought their 2014 Cab and the Rosa Lee Sweet Whim (port-style wine) and we were off again to explore Yountville prior to having dinner there.  We both really wanted to walk through French Laundry’s garden, which is literally right across the street from the restaurant.  It was so cool to view the map of the garden and see what sunchokes actually look like. The highlight for me though was the chicken/duck coup.  How freaking cute is this?!

Oh man that last picture cracks me up!  I love the hen looking out the window haha. Then I made the mistake of asking out loud, “do we eat their eggs? or do we actually eat them?!” This made me think about becoming a vegetarian for a bit. But then we went to dinner at Redd Wood and ordered the Prosciutto Crudo pizza. Oh the fickle mind… 😛

Honestly we weren’t that impressed with Redd Wood. It’s so hard for a restaurant to stand out in Napa because all of the food is just on a whole ‘nother level. The pizza was good, just not great. Hey gotta keep it real with you guys!

So that ends our day 2 adventures! Stay tuned for day 3! 🙂

Napa, CA Trip Day 1: Fried Chicken, a French Chateau, and Mustard’s

Hey gang! My boyfriend and I just got back from a few days in Napa Valley and it was AMAZING. We had our trip planned prior to the wildfires that happened and were debating on cancelling.  But we reeaallyy had our hearts set on a Napa trip so instead reached out to the wineries to see if they were open. Every winery we wanted to visit was open and they encouraged us to come out. You don’t have to tell us twice!  It was awesome to go out and support an industry that we love so much! 😉

The 4 days we spent there were action-packed!  So over the next few days, I’ll publish a post for each day we spent in Napa 🙂

Day 1:

We took an early flight from the east coast and landed in San Francisco around 10 am local time. While planning our trip, we decided to rent a car to make it easier to get around since we had plans to visit all the areas of Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast. First up on the agenda? Fried Chicken Sandwiches at Fremont Diner in Sonoma.

Feel free to stare at the picture above and wonder at the glory of this sandwich. This was some of the best fried chicken I have ever had and it came with a side of collard greens. This is what dreams are made of. And I definitely had to eat a heavier meal before I started drinking…. or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Next stop, just a short drive away, was Domaine Carneros for a sparking wine tasting. I have to be 100% honest here. I got hung up on the fact that the building was a french-style chateau. The wine? Meh. The thing I enjoyed the most (other than spending time with my boyfriend obvi) was the funny birds that hung out on the patio. They would wait until someone got up from their table and immediately  drop in and take the leftovers haha.

After enjoying the show from the birds, we headed to our hotel in Napa and relaxed. We had some time to kill before dinner, so we decided to head over to Oxbow Public Market in Downtown Napa.  Our main goal was to visit Whole Spice, a freshly ground, high quality seasoning boutique that has amazing blends.

Photo Credit:

I spent entirely too much time tasting salt there haha. I did manage to find the best cinnamon I have ever had in my life. After increasing my blood pressure from the extreme salt intake, it was time to increase it even more with dinner at Mustard’s. At this point, the jet lag was hitting us pretty hard but we powered through with some moscow mules 🙂

For dinner I ordered the lemon and garlic chicken which was perfectly cooked and seasoned. I would HIGHLY recommend Mustard’s for a simple, yet comforting dinner.

That’s it for day 1!  Stay tuned over the next week as I post a recap from each day of our Napa trip!

Tell me, have you been to Napa before? If so, what was your favorite place to visit?

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #3

Hey hey hey it’s Fri-YAY!! I feel particularly excited today because now I feel like I can officially start to celebrate the holidays!! Especially now since I upped my cable package to include the Hallmark Channel haha.

This year I am hosting Thanksgiving and I am VERY excited. I love to cook and open up my home to my family. So in the spirit of entertaining during the holidays, this is a home-themed What I’m Feelin’ Friday!
#1 HomeGoods 
They just opened a brand new store by my house last weekend. There must be a magnetic force coming from the store because as soon as it opened I went…..with 45345 other people. 😉
I bought a cute new picture to hang in my entryway, a new fleece blanket for my dog, an adorable coffee mug and some other odds and ends. HomeGoods has a great selection, especially the pet section.
#2 Pottery Barn HydroCotton Bath Towels
Admittedly, I have been a Kohl’s Big One towel girl for years. I figured, it’s a towel. You dry off with it. No big deal. Until my boyfriend introduced me to Pottery Barn’s HydroCotton Bath Towels. Holy crap where have these been all my life?! They immediately soak up the water and are incredibly soft and warm.  Now I won’t even touch another towel!
#3 Le Creuset Dutch Oven
I have been coveting one of these for years. Every fall I found myself holding off because of the price tag. But then all winter long I would find myself wishing I had one.  This year I decided no more! I’ll cough up the money to have a piece that I’ll (hopefully) have for a lifetime.  Well, it does not disappoint! I made a sweet potato chicken soup from the Meals on the Run Cookbook I mentioned. The Le Creuset was a dream come true! It just heated evenly and was incredibly easy to clean.
Alright guys, have a great weekend! I know we will all be busy getting everything ready for Thanksgiving!

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #2

Alright alright alright 😉 Time for another what I’m feelin’ Friday!  Hope everyone’s week was awesome! By the time this post publishes I’ll be coming home from Napa so stay tuned for some travel posts. 🙂

This Friday it’s all about rest and relaxation. Rest usually falls by the wayside when I’m trying to do all the things that’ll help me reach my running goals. So I strategically have to plan rest and I do that by having things around that force me to chillax. Let’s jump right into it shall we?

#1 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls may be my favorite book ever. And I read A LOT. Talk about a page turner!  I could not wait to get into bed early to read this one.  It’s a memoir about the author’s unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing but is told with a lighthearted, funny spin. This book was one shock factor after another. Be sure to curl up after a long run with this one!

#2 Wicked Plush Throw from L.L. Bean

I don’t know what happened, but when I turned 30 I became OBSESSED with L.L. Bean.  I remember getting the catalog in my 20’s and thinking, “who the heck would buy this boring crap?” Oh how foolish we are in our 20’s.  I absolutely LOVE curling up with this blanket and watching TV by the fire.  It’s incredibly soft, large, and VERY warm! Even my dog Tadd loves it 🙂

#3 Massages

I have been getting massages for years now. I 100% credit them with keeping me injury free for the past few years. I have aches and pains here and there, but when I get a massage and ask for extra work on a specific spot, it definitely makes it better. I highly suggest you read this article from for more information such as when to get a massage and other options if it isn’t in your budget.

Alright gang, what are YOU feeling this Friday? Do any of you have to schedule rest?

How to Create a Marathon Training Plan

Hey gang! Hope everyone had a great weekend. I am sure you have heard by now that Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon yesterday. The first US woman in exactly 40 years to win the coveted spot! Congrats Shalane! Feeling inspired by the NYC marathon, I wanted to write a post on how to build a marathon training plan. There are a TON of runners out there that don’t know where to start when it comes to actually creating a plan. Then they rely on generic plans they found online and wonder why they get injured.  That plan wasn’t created with YOU in mind!

Before I get into the details, there are 2 things I am assuming you know prior to following these instructions:

1) you know your current fitness level. I highly recommend you have at least done one half marathon prior to committing to a marathon.  You should not be following these directions if you are new to running.

2) you ideally know what days you like to run. If you currently run, you are familiar with how many days a week and what day you like to run.

Ok with those 2 things out of the way, let’s get started!

1) Pick your race.

This might be the most fun part! I recommend using a few sites to search for your perfect race. A few good ones are,,, and  Also be sure to check out my race review section 😉

2) Pick your goal.

Are you running for a PR?  Is this your first marathon? Are you returning to running after an injury?  These things may seem small but are critical when building a marathon plan. If this is your first marathon, you don’t want to pepper your plan with a ton of speed workouts and high mileage.

3) Use excel or a calendar to chart out your plan.

Personally, I find that creating an excel spreadsheet works best for me because I create additional columns for the week number (i.e. Week 1, Week 2, etc.) and Total Weekly Mileage.  If you google “Excel spreadsheet for marathon training” there are templates already available that you can use and customize. You will want at least 16 weeks to train properly for the marathon.

4) Work backwards.

Work backwards from the race date. Planning out the last month of training is key to setting the stage for your plan.  Plotting out your last 20 miler is THE most important part of the plan. That would take place 2 or 3 weeks prior to your race. The time between your 20 miler and the race is your taper period. This is the time to go easy in the plan. BONUS: About 4 to 6 weeks prior to your race, plan to race a half marathon.  It’s a great indicator to how your training is going in the cycle and could tell you if your training is going well (or not) for the full marathon.

5) Now start from the beginning.

With your current fitness level in mind, start with week 1. For week 1, I always maintain my current running level in order to give me a base to build on. Then for the next 2 weeks, increase your mileage by 10%. So for example, if your weekly mileage for week 1 was 20 miles, you will need to increase the next week’s mileage by 2 miles (10%).

6) Up 3, down the 4th.

In other words, you should increase mileage for 3 weeks and then decrease mileage for the 4th week. The 4th week your mileage should decrease by 15-20% of the previous week. So for example:

Week 1: 20 miles
Week 2: 22 miles (up 10%)
Week 3: 25 miles (up 10%)
Week 4: 20 miles (down 20%)

7) Now increase the following week by 10% using the highest weekly mileage in that cycle NOT the previous week.

So in other words:

Week 1: 20 miles
Week 2: 22 miles (up 10%)
Week 3: 25 miles (up 10%)
Week 4: 20 miles (down 20%)
Week 5: 28 miles (up 10% from week 3)

8) As you go along, add in rest days, account for vacations/other special events, and cross training.

As you can see, this is pretty complicated and there are a ton of different methods for building a marathon plan. Need help? Hire me! 🙂 Check out the coaching plans i have and pick the one you want.

Happy Running!

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #1

Hey gang!! Happy Friday!!! I am going to start a segment here on the blog called, “What I’m Feelin’ Friday.” There are always a TON of products or services that make my life better as a runner/overall human being and I want to share them with the you!  I am all for things that will improve my quality of life and save time. If any of the items I mention provide a monetary kick back to me, I will let you know by putting this “(<–Referral Link)” next to the hyperlink. If there’s nothing, then I am sharing out of the kindness of my heart. Awwww 😉

So here’s what I’m feelin’….

#1 Apple Juice Infused Dried Cherries from Whole Foods

These things are addictive! I love how tart they are and go perfectly in trail mix or oatmeal. And according to Women’s Running Magazine, cherries are especially good for runners because they help reduce inflammation and contain melatonin to help you sleep.  You can find these gems in the trail mix/bulk food section at Whole Foods.

#2 What To Eat Notepad

I .HATE. MEAL PLANNING! But it’s critical if you want to save time and money at the grocery store. I found this cute magnetic notepad at World Market during my Santa Barbara trip but you can find it here on Amazon. I love that I can easily see what days I don’t need to cook so that way I am not throwing out leftovers.

#3 Clarisonic Brush Mia 2

Photo taken from

Okay I know what you’re thinking. What the heck does this have to do with running?! Have you ever come home from a nice, sweaty workout and you make a nice post-workout meal, you take the dog for a walk, then you scroll through See Holly Run’s Instagram account, only to realize you haven’t washed your face in hours?! I’m guilty as charged. Because of these bad habits, my face was consistently breaking out.

I’m not even joking, the day a friend lent me her Clarisonic brush (<–Referral Link) was a day that would change my life forever!  I know that sounds completely nuts but within 1 use my skin was MUCH clearer and brighter. Over the next few days, my skin became the softest I can ever remember it being!!

After my friend and I’s agreed upon trial period, I gave my friend her Clarisonic brush back and immediately my face started breaking out again. Luckily About Faces Spa was having a sale and I got Clare (our beloved nickname for the brush) at a discounted rate. Rejoice!  My skin is clear again!

Hope everyone has a FANTASTIC weekend!  Tell me, what are you feelin’ this week? 🙂