Leibster Award!


According to my calendar, I was originally scheduled to write about my April Aurora project, the Honey Cowl. As with the socks before it, however, the emerald cowl is not quite ready-for-prime-time (despite some pretty frantic knitting as of late). So, it was with a great sigh of relief and growing sense of excitement that I realized Not Merely Living had nominated me for the Liebster Award on Monday, providing ample procrastination motivation and pretty flattering all around. Thanks, Mere! I’m so excited to be a part of this!

Share 11 Things About Yourself:

1. I have not had cable (or working TV) in over 4 years! It is amazing how much I can do now that I have reclaimed my evenings (and lazy Sunday afternoons) from the boob tube (like this blog! And knitting! And this soup, which is the only thing I plan on doing this Sunday!)

2. I have two Bachelor’s degrees from UCSD – a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Microbiology. I was a much better student in history than in science. One professor summed it up perfectly, “you can do science during the week and history on the weekends, but you cannot do the reverse.” I chose science and rarely look back.

3. I dislike the (lack of) taste of water. Yet, I am determined to drink my 6-9 8oz. glasses each day. To resolve this, I add just a pinch of Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light to each thermos-full. This provides just enough sweet tartness to keep me coming back all day.

4. Despite living in San Diego going on five (non-consecutive) years, I have never crossed the border to visit Mexico.

jaw crop

5. I had surgery in 2005 to realign both my upper and lower jaws, fixing a pretty extreme overbite and halting TMJ development. I now have 43 screws implanted throughout my skull (that is my xray above), as well as a chin plate – one of them can be felt alongside my nose – greatest party trick ever! The only glitch? The center of my bottom lip is permanently numb – that nerve never recovered.

6. When life is going really well, I celebrate by dancing it out. I come home, filled with joy, turn the music up loud, lights off (curtains shut), eyes closed and boogie around the living room until I am exhausted, satisfied and completely content.

7. Consistency is my challenge (bane?) – I have always worked/lived/blogged in fits and starts. I do not like it. Real progress is made one step at a time, as long as one is walking each day. To this end (and inspired by Mere), I have made a May blogging calendar and, at least 3 days in (I started on Monday), it’s going great!

punch(Punch Brothers, my current favorite, on tour at Belly Up Tavern in Dec, 2012)

8. Music is the most direct line to my soul. Whether that is dancing it out, checking out live shows or singing along angrily with a break-up song on the radio. I have playlists for every chapter of my life and songs for each person that has passed through. When a beat drops, I cannot NOT move.

9. I need a view. In each city I have lived, I have found a place that looks out over the surrounding landscape where I can sit, breathe, think and process. I get so wound up in my own head sometimes that I literally need to see the big picture laid out in front of me to snap out of it.

paris from rooftops

10. I am a hands person. Maybe it is because mine are so teeny tiny – hands are the first things I notice about a new person I meet. I also love to do things with my hands – cooking, knitting, science-ing – all very similar when it comes down to it.

11. I am (still) a hopeless romantic. I believe in all the clichés – about loving yourself first before anyone else can, about finding the right one when you stop looking and, most importantly, that perfect matches (friends and lovers) are out there – everywhere – if you just open yourself up to the experience and opportunity.

Answers to the 11 Questions You Were Given:


What’s your favorite season? Spring. Still blustry and stormy enough to enjoy afternoons cuddled up with a great book (or blog) and steaming mug of tea, but you can feel the tide turning, the days getting longer and life emerging from it’s long winter’s nap. So much hope and beauty.

What did you want to be when you grew up? The first thing I can remember wanting to be was an astronaut. I got my first set of glasses in sixth grade and those hopes were dashed (not to mention my abysmal performance in math).

potato tart(Potato carmelized onion tart – amazingly delicious)

Sweet or savory? Savory. No question.

Favorite Boy Band? Do the Punch Brothers count? But pop-stravagant Boy Band? New Kids On The Block. Forever.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? While I really appreciate quality non-fiction (Mary Roach and Christopher Hitchens are favorites), I like to read to escape the real world, so fiction almost always wins out. Due to The Bat’s influence, I am starting to branch into Science Fiction and Fantasy for the first time and am loving every page of it.


If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be? Cleopatra. I want to hear her story from the source (a very close contender would be Mary Magdalene, for the same reason).

What is one secret goal or dream you have for yourself? I dream of taking my writing and photography to the next level – making them more of a priority, focusing on learning the skills (and forging the connections) that would allow me to travel, write and take pictures professionally. I am thinking it’s a pretty competitive gig.

beach3(San Simeon coastline, CA)

What is the one thing you do/place you go that gets you refocused and energized? I go to the ocean. I inhale the salt air deeply and listen to the waves pound endlessly against the shore. Something about that power, the wind in my hair, and the wild, untamed beauty of the Pacific always sets things right. That, and I make a big pot of minestrone soup and garlic bread. There are very few problems that a walk on the beach and a steamy bowl of soup cannot solve.


(My brother’s dog, Moose, as a puppy)

What is your spirit animal? Labrador retriever. Cuddly, soft (ha), unconditionally loving, fiercely loyal, trustworthy, easily distracted and, while not the smartest of the bunch, willing to work as hard as it takes.

What are you most proud of today? That I truly love myself, exactly the way that I am. Sure, there are a few pounds I could lose and so many projects that I am saving for a rainy day. In the end, I am proud and excited about who I am, how I spend my time, where I focus my energy and the person I have become.

self portrait

What is one resolution for 2013 you want to be sure to stick to for the rest of the year? Consistency here, continuing to use writing and photography to explore who I am, how I eat and what is next for me.

Nominate 5 Bloggers

Camille of Croque Camille

Catherine of Ciao Down!

Margaret of Destination : Macaron

Marie of Meandering Eats

Tammy of Agrigirl’s Blog


11 Questions for the Nominee to Answer

1. What is your go-to, most comforting meal?

2. Top 5 destinations you hope to travel to some day?

3. Top 5 places you have already visited?

4. What song takes you back to your senior year in high school like it was yesterday?

5. What was your first car?

6. Coffee or tea?

7. What is your favorite thing to cook?

8. Favorite thing about blogging?

9. Three pieces of advice you would give younger you?

10. What would be your perfect date?

11. Could you recommend 2 books that moved you (any genre)?

Thanks again, Mere, for such a fun post! For those of you reading – I would love to learn more about you as well! Please, drop a quick comment about where you are from, what brought you to ResarchingSanDiego and what question would you ask your favorite bloggers? 

6 responses to “Leibster Award!

  1. Love this! I’ll get to work on mine after I finish my German homework 😉

  2. !!! I love this post. It’s so beautiful. You’re the best. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme – Dance | Researching San Diego

  4. Thanks! I have a question, though – do I just make up the 11 questions to pass along, or is there some master list somewhere that I get to choose from?

    • You are welcome! I’m excited to read your answers 😛 You just make up the last 11 (at least that is what I did) – I did backtrack a bit to previous ‘awardees’ to check out their questions (and I poached a bit) – but I think it is about what you want to know from the bloggers you know/follow!

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