La Jolla Travel Guide

Back in June, I got to go on a (very last minute) work trip to San Diego and I had THE BEST time! Yes I did get a lot of work done, but I also got to do a LOT of exploring while there! Since my company’s office is up closer to La Jolla, I spent most of my time checking out the sights and eats up in that area. It’s such a fun place with so much to see and do, so I wanted to make a little guide to all the best things to check out if you’re in the area (and a few more things I want to check out on my next visit!)

This is going to be a random assortment of things and places, so bear with me and get excited for the trip to La Jolla you’re inevitably going to plan ASAP!

This tiny cute little sandwich shop was recommended to me by a few people in a facebook group, and it is now my new favorite little place. It’s a genuine hole-in-the-wall eatery and I would have walked right past it if I didn’t know to look for it! I got a delicious sandwich for lunch, had a yummy soda to wash it down, and had THE BEST COOKIE OF MY LIFE. They’re known for their flourless oatmeal cookies and y’all… I don’t even like oatmeal cookies but this were so good. It was crispy and chewy and actual perfection. I am still mad that I didn’t get 48 of them. In fact, when a friend said she was going to be in the San Diego/La Jolla area, I insisted she come here and get more than one!

The Cheese Shop is just a few blocks away from the La Jolla Shores beach so you can grab a little meal and then head off to the sand! One thing to note – this sandwich shop closes in the afternoon, so don’t try and go there for dinner!

This gelato was AMAZING!!! I had the watermelon flavor and it was to die for. It was so fresh and delicious – I definitely wanted to get another scoop! But I didn’t because I technically hadn’t eaten dinner yet and I was still planning on eating a real dinner so I only had one scoop as my pre-dinner dessert snack. And so yes that DID mean that I had dessert before dinner! There’s no rules on vacation, right?!? Bobboi Natural Gelato is just steps off the La Jolla cove – I walked there and it took no time at all.

Seal Rock was so worth finding! It made me so happy to see some seals there in the ocean, and I got to see quite a few little seal pups, too! This area is right by the La Jolla Children’s Pool (an area where a wall was built out in the ocean to make a safer, calmer swimming area for kids) and the seals were coming up on the beach there, too, which the kids seemed to enjoy watching!

If you want a little bit of a nicer dinner with an AMAZING view, you’ve GOT to go to George’s at the Cove! The food was very good but the view was even better! I mean, just look at that sunset!!! So beautiful! There’s a few different levels to this restaurant, and we ate at Level 2. The restaurants were so crowded (duh we were trying to eat dinner at sunset) but even on a Monday night they were shocked we didn’t have a reservation. Which we didn’t. We didn’t have to wait too long because we didn’t need one of the tables right along the edge with the fantastic view, but it would have been cool to sit there. So plan ahead and make a reservation!

And you can see from the second picture there where the restaurant is located from the cove below- I was very impressed with myself that I found it from the other side!

Just like Seal Rock, the cove was a fun little area for me because I got to see even more seals!!! But these ones were up close and personal and LOUD and it was fun to see them scooting along right in front of me! The area was very pretty and it is a nice little area to walk around in!

The Taco Stand was another place that kept getting recommended over and over and over and over (even the girl working the front desk at my hotel raved about it!) so I had to go give it a try. This is where I went on my last night in San Diego and I was not disappointed! My taco was delicious, the guac I got was made perfectly, and the chips were even pretty good, too! But you guys… this place was PACKED. I waited in a looooooooong line for probably 20 minutes just to get in the door. And then once I ordered, it was crazy to try and find somewhere to sit down – inside or outside. After one kind of rude family wouldn’t let me sit next to them (not at their table, just next to them at like a bar area because that chair was holding their 2 purses… ok…) a seat at the little bar up front opened up and I got to sit down to enjoy my meal. So definitely check this place out if you’re in the area, but give yourself plenty of line-waiting time!

And that’s it! That’s my little travel guide of what to see and what to eat if you’re ever in the La Jolla area. I clearly didn’t have too much time to explore and see everything I wanted (silly work getting in the way of my travel dreams!) and so I have a long list of places to go the next time I get out there! It’s pretty much all restaurants now that I’m looking at it… and I’m ok with that. So the next time I go back, I’ll want to visit:

Sugar and Scribe Bakery
Shore Rider
La Sala
Windansea Beach
and more!

I got to do a tiny bit of exploring around the rest of San Diego while I was there for work, so I’m going to share some of my recommendations in my next post!


I Love Musicals!!!

Back in January 2017, I was at the height of my Hamilton obsession. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still obsessed and I still blast the soundtrack in my car and sing every word at the top of my lungs in the car, but back then it was just fresher. I was just minding my own business when one day I got an email from the Dallas Summer Musicals organization saying that HAMILTON WOULD BE COMING TO DALLAS………… sometime in 2019. Your girl got SO excited. But how would I guarantee to see it and not spend $600 for one single ticket?!?

Well, I kept reading the email and this organization gave me the answer I was looking for. All I had to do was buy season tickets for the 2018 musical season (remember, this is January 2017 at this point), so then I would be able to renew my season tickets for the 2019 musical season, which would guarantee me a ticket to see Hamilton at a “normal” price!

Now, you might be thinking “That’s crazy buying season tickets for TWO YEARS just to see one show!” and sure you’d be kind of right… but you better believe that’s exactly what I did! I did the math, and getting season tickets for two years was still cheaper than what a single Hamilton ticket cost as a lot of the touring shows… so I was ok with it! And so I bought the first set of season tickets A FULL YEAR before I saw the first musical… and now the first year of season tickets is already over! Thankfully I have a friend who is just as obsessed with Hamilton as I am, and I told him my plan and he got so excited and said, “I WAS GOING TO DO THAT, TOO!!!” so we got our season ticket seats next to each other and we have a little friend date to see musicals once a month!

I saw 6 musicals this year and for the most part, they were all pretty great! In fact, I have a hard time saying that any of them were “bad” because the people involved just worked so hard to make the show happen and I’ve got to give them credit for showing up and getting the job done… so I’ve given them all awards!

– Best Children In a Musical –

This hands down has to go to School of Rock! I was kind of skeptical about this one since it was a movie first, but the whole thing was really fun! And the kids were SO AMAZING! They were singing and dancing AND playing their musical instruments live on stage! It was so impressive. I wanted to give all of them individual high fives.

– Biggest Musical Tragedy –

And no… this is not tragic like the story was really sad… this is tragic like WHO IN THE WORLD THOUGHT THIS WAS AN OK THING FOR A MUSICAL?!?!? I have to give the singers credit tho, because ALL the singing was phenomenal. And the sets were pretty elaborate and neat. But guys… this story… it was so bad. The songs… they were so bad. The world did NOT need a sequel to Phantom of the Opera yet here we are with one in existence. Just tragic!

– Best Musical I’d Already Seen Before –

Hands down The Lion King wins for best musical I’ve actually already seen before! I think it had been about 15 years since I’d seen it though, so it was almost like seeing it for the first time again! I had to reschedule when I saw this one, so since my friend and I were changing dates anyway, we went ahead and upgraded our seats to sit just a little bit closer- and I’m so glad we did! Even just that little bit made such a difference and the whole show was just amazing!

– Musical That Should Have Made Me Cry But Somehow I Didn’t Use Any of the Tissues I Brought With Me –

When it comes to musicals, Les Mis is one of the “classics.” I remember my parents going to see it when I was really little, and now that they’ve made it into a movie a lot more people know the story and the songs. I saw the movie in theaters and CRIED MY EYES OUT so I expected the same thing to happen when I saw the musical… which was not the case! Probably because I already knew all the sad parts? Maybe? But it was incredible to see it on stage and I definitely preferred this version!

– Musical That Made Me Dance A Little In My Seat –

I will be honest. I had absolutely no expectations for this musical. It actually seemed like kind of a strange musical to have been made, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! The music made me kind of bop around in my seat (not obnoxiously tho – I wasn’t that person) and I even looked up the songs to listen to later the next week!

– Favorite Musical of 2018 –

By far my favorite new-to-me musical of the 2018 season was Waitress! I’m always kind of hesitant when a musical is based off a movie (which in my mind is very different than a musical being based off a book for some reason) but this one really impressed me! The cast did a great job singing, the show was fun, and I loved the music! It was VERY obvious that Sara Bareilles wrote some/part/all (I can’t actually remember…) of the songs because most of the songs sounded very much her style… which I just so happen to love so I enjoyed all of them! The only weird thing about this one… was the accent that the main character used. She has a very normal voice in real life, but when she tried to talk in a Southern accent in the show she got very… mumble-y… and it was honestly kind of hard to understand her… but other than that very tiny thing it was great and I want it to come back to Dallas soon!

Now that the 2018 season is over, I have to wait a few months before the 2019 season starts. Our first show for that season is actually in December (which yes is technically still in 2018 but let’s not worry about that…) and it’s Phantom of the Opera and I can’t wait! Then it’s just a few more months to wait until I get to FINALLY see Hamilton! My tickets are for April 6, 2019 and you bet I’m going to have some sort of countdown calendar going once we get a little bit closer!

Five for Friday #44

Happy Friday, friends!! I hope you’re ready to have the best day, because I am ready to have the best day! And what makes today the best kind of Friday, you ask? Well 1- I took the day off work so not going into the office will be a great change and 2- I’m going on a little mini girls trip this weekend! We’re leaving sometime this morning and heading down to Waco, TX (yes, for the Magnolia pilgrimage) and I’m so excited! I have been to Waco before a few years ago with some friends, and we did go to the Magnolia Silos, but we were there before the restaurant or the bakery were open, so I’m VERY excited to check out all the new and old things and explore Waco a little more!

I’ve got 5 great things I wanted to share today, so let’s get started!!

ONE || I started drinking this Glowing Green Smoothie at the beginning of 2018 and drank it every day for probably a month straight! Then I started traveling and forgot to buy the ingredients and I kind of forgot about it… until recently! I started drinking it again in the mornings and have fallen in love with it once again! It doesn’t taste like a delicious sugary smoothie, but it actually tastes pretty good! I’ve tailored the recipe to just make one serving at a time and that works out really well for me!

TWO || I loved this post from Carly about how social media is kind of at a ‘tipping point’ and I’m all for it. I don’t make much money from blogging and just do it for fun, but I can imagine that doing this FOR YOUR JOB comes with so much pressure to seem perfect from the outside. Some of my favorite people to follow are the ones who are real and share all aspects of life, even if it includes imperfect photos or being real about having a bad day.

THREE || Did anybody buy anything fun in this year’s Lilly Pulitzer after party sale?!? I look at the sale every year, but never really find anything that I just HAVE to have (even if something is on sale, you’re not SAVING money, you’re SPENDING money, right?) But then this year… I found THE PERFECT WORK PANTS! I saw them and immediately fell in love with the pattern (they’re very “me”) and the price was AMAZING. I was debating whether or not to bite the bullet and purchase but then I saw that they were called “the KELLY pant” and ummm yeah, you better believe I got them! They’re definitely more spring-y, but I will be wearing them year-round with pride. They’re no longer available on their website, so now I’m extra glad I snagged them while they were on major sale!

FOUR || I. Love. This. It. Is. So. True.

FIVE || I don’t know if I’ve ever actually made biscuits but ummmmm I REALLY want to make all the biscuits now…

Southern Biscuits

That’s it for today, friends! I can’t wait to share about our Waco weekend – I’m sure I’ll be documenting the whole thing on Instagram stories, so follow along with me at @kellymullican if you want to travel vicariously with us! Have a wonderful weekend!

Recent Reads

Do you ever go through genre moods when you’re reading? I sure do! There was a stretch of a few months where all I wanted to read was historical fiction. There was another spurt where I couldn’t get enough of thrillers (it was when we all got caught up in the Gone Girl madness, nobody seemed to be immune!) I even went through a few months where I was searching out SAD BOOKS because I am a crazy person and wanted to torture myself apparently? (Those are still some of my favorites, tho!) And remember a few years ago when funny celebrity memoirs were coming out left and right? Yeah me too, and I did my best to read all of them in a 3 month period.

But I asked my original question because it seems right now that I don’t have a current genre mood and I don’t know how to feel about it! On the one hand, I really like the variety of the books I’ve been reading over the last few months… but on the other hand it makes it seem SO HARD to pick out the next book I want to read! Should I go for that biography, or grab the latest murder mystery, or finally start that rom-com beach read that’s been in my library queue for years? First world problems, am I right? Here are some of the books I’ve read over the last few months- all in different genres!

When Life Gives You Lululemons

In the genre of “fun beach read” I give you When Life Gives You Lululemons – it is a follow-up story to The Devil Wears Prada (which I read in high school and really really really enjoyed!) and it follows Emily (the Emily Blunt character from the movie) 10 years later. Here’s the summary:

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now. When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce. In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach. So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public.

I really liked reading this one!! It was quick and easy and FUN! The characters (both new and old) were a hoot to hang out with for a few days and the plot was woven together very well. It’s one of those stories that makes you crazy because as the reader you know ALL THE THINGS but the characters don’t know all the things and you’re just yelling at the book COME ON NOW! So it’s a tiny bit infuriating in the moment, but the payoff at the end of the book is SO incredibly worth it!

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know

Here’s my choice for the “fun celebrity memoir” genre. Ok so first little warning about this book – there is ALL THE LANGUAGE in pretty much every sentence. She’s not being rude or mean, that’s just the way Retta talks. But a few f-bombs aside, this book was truly hilarious and I loved getting to learn more about Donna from Parks & Rec, how Retta got into show comedy and business, and hearing her talk about our mutual obsession that is Hamilton.

I read a physical copy of this one, but Retta also reads the audiobook and I bet that she adds so much flair to her words! I definitely recommend either!

My Oxford Year

In the genre of “book that I thought was going to be one thing and then oops it made me cry a whole lot but I still really liked it” I chose My Oxford Year. This was on my list of books I wanted to read this summer and I honestly didn’t know much about it except for an American goes to study for a year at Oxford and falls in love!! What a fun story, right?!?! Here’s the full summary:

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day. When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret. Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.

So I would recommend this book, however… I don’t think it was written super well. It was still fun to read, but there were a lot of times where it got a little confusing and I had to re-read entire pages to figure out who was actually talking or what had actually happened or how much time had actually passed. (There was one part where I was reading thinking this part was taking place the next day, when MUCH later I realized it was taking place like a fully month later and I had to go back and read it again so it made more sense.)

Truly Madly Guilty

In the genre of “I thought this was going to be a thriller but was ultimately a huge letdown” I chose Truly Madly Guilty. Ugh this book. I got it as a book on CD to listen to in my car and guys. It was just SO hard to get into. Even toward the end when things started coming together and it was supposed to be the riveting, exciting, dramatic part, I just honestly didn’t care. At all. Here’s the summary because I don’t even want to talk about this plot myself:

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit busy, life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other. Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last-minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger-than-life personalities there will be a welcome respite. Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone? In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

I read Big Little Lies a year ago and LOVED it and thought oh, it’s the same author so I bet I’ll like this book, too! False. Didn’t care. Don’t want to waste my time talking about it anymore. Don’t bother reading it. Just trust me.

(I do have a friend who has read most of Liane Moriarty’s books and she said that all her other ones are actually good and I should give them a try. She tried to start this book and couldn’t get into it, so I’m hopeful that I’ll like her other books better!)

Have you read any of these books yet? What do you think about them? Is there a certain genre that you’re drawn to right now? I think I’m going to try to keep my randomness going! I’m currently reading a “self-help-ish” book, a book on management, and a thriller… variety is the spice of (book) life!

How I’ve Been Studying the Bible

A few months ago, I went to a little event at my church where the women were getting together to watch a Priscilla Shirer simulcast – she was teaching “live” but we were watching a recorded session of that live teaching a few weeks later. If you’ve ever heard Priscilla speak or done one of her studies, you know that she ALWAYS has REALLY GOOD stuff to say.

One of the things she did while speaking this time was outline the way she studies her bible. Having a “quiet time” in general is not a hard thing to do, right? It’s your time to be still and read the bible and connect with God, but that can look SO drastically different for every person! My personal quiet times have been really varied over the years, and I’m always looking for something new to try out. So when Priscilla outlined how she likes to read the bible, I decided to give it a try. And I’ve been loving it! It’s very simple – you just go through the 5 P’s outlined below!

That seems simple enough, right? Sure! But it’s always nice to have an example to go on, so I’ll go through the 5 P’s right now with you, so you can see how I use it.

The first P is POSITION. Really for this, I get myself into a good space, both physically and mentally, where I’ll be ready to really pay attention to what I’m about to do and focus on spending some time with God. This can look different depending on how I’m feeling that day – sometimes I sit up in my bed, sometimes I sit at my dining room table, sometimes I’m on the couch – as long as I’ve got my bible and my notebook and a pen, I’m good to go. I do, however, make sure that I don’t have any distractions. No phone nearby. No TV on. It’s focus time! And then before I actually start digging into the bible, I write down a few things I’m thankful for and a few things I want to pray specifically for during the rest of the day.

Next it’s time to PORE over the passage and then summarize the major points. Right now I’m going through Philippians (it’s one of my favorites!) This also looks a little different depending on the day. Some days I’ll read through a few verses at a time, but other days I might just read one verse and really focus on it alone. The point of this is to really dig in and understand what God is saying through his word, so just see what feels right for you that day.

Once you’ve read through your passage, it’s time to PULL out the spiritual principles and truths from what you just read. It’s kind of like summarizing above, but this is where you can look a little deeper and see what God is actually trying to say. Is that passage a metaphor for something? Is it literal? What does it mean? Is there a command to follow?

Building off the previous step, it’s now time to POSE questions and make them personal and practical for your life and current situations. If there are directions to be followed, are you following them? If there was a promise given, do you believe it? I usually end up kind of journaling this out (I mentioned before that I have a notebook with me because I like to think things through as I’m writing).

And here we are at the final P! This is where you look over what you just read, learned, and thought about, and PLAN obedience if there was something that convicted you. We are strategic about so many things in our lives, so why not be strategic about following God’s word, too? This can look as simple as praying for guidance on a situation going on it your life, it could look like planning to have a hard conversation with a friend, it could look like apologizing to someone in your life – the possibilities are endless! This plan phase is really what I try to get to stick with me through the rest of my day (which I’m a human so sometimes I fail) but my hope is that it helps me go through my day in a way that will encourage my faith, show love to myself and to others, and reflect God’s kindness to other people around me!

So there you have it – that’s how I’ve been studying my bible lately! It can definitely seem like a more “academic” approach since I’m going a lot slower through scripture than I have in the past (and I have a GREAT study bible where there’s a lot of explanation text for each passage) but I’m loving this approach. Going slower to REALLY make sure I’m understanding the truths and promises that are in my bible has revealed a lot of great things in the last few months, and I can’t wait to keep going. Depending on how much time I have, I’ll often go and read a few chapters of another book of the bible to finish out my quiet time, just for fun. Right now I’m reading through 1 Samuel, and I just read the story about David and Goliath!

I hope this method of bible study seems interesting to you, and if so why don’t you go ahead and give it a try! If you aren’t a believer and don’t read the bible and somehow made it to the end of this post (hi you fantastic reader, you!) I hope it gives a little insight into what reading the bible can look like and maybe even why it’s done in the first place.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!