Full Body Cadillac Workout

Having my own Reformer has been amazing, but I have seriously missed all of the other incredible Pilates apparatuses. I work at a studio that has a Cadillac, but I almost never get to use it because I’m always in and out of the studio and I only teach Mat and Reformer classes there. I subbed a group class this past Sunday morning and when I was done I looked at the Cadillac like it was an old friend and decided it was time we hung out again. I had the best time and I literally felt the physical difference in my body instantly.

As you may know, there’s a difference in springs between different manufacturers. This workout was done on a Stott Cadillac, but the same principles pretty much apply universally so for the sake of this post I’m going to use “Heavy” or “Light” to reference my spring load for each exercises.

*Adjust spring height to a resistance that makes sense for you. Everyone has different levels of strength so you may want to play around with the springs before you begin!

START

Light Springs – Rolldown Bar

Rolldown x10

Supine Pulldown x10

Supine Rows x10

Round Back Pulldown x10

Round Back Rows x10

Flat Back Narrow Rows x10

Flat Back Bicep Curls x10

Side Bends

-Bend Elbow x10

-Straight Elbow x10

-Pulses x10

-Repeat other side

Kneeling Armwork

-Shoulder Lifts x10

-Tricep Extensions x10

-Shoulder Lifts + Tricep Extensions Combo x10

-Salute x10

-Pushups x10

*Lower Rolldown Bar to Heavy Spring height

Heavy Springs – Straps

Feet in Straps

-Feet Together & Parallel x10

-Pilates V x10

-Frogs x10

-Open & Close x10

-Breaststroke x10

-Reverse Breaststroke x10

-Scissors x10/leg

-Bicycles x10/leg

-Reverse Bicycles x10/leg

-Walking x10

Light Springs – Rolldown Bar

Single Leg Pulldown

-Right Leg x10

-Left Leg x10

-Both Legs x10

The Hundred

Mat

Double Leg Stretch x10

Single Leg Stretch x10/leg

Bicycles x10/leg

Hamstring Pull x10/leg

*Adjust Rolldown Bar to original height

Light Springs – Rolldown Bar

Rolling In & Out x5

Heavy Springs – Handles

Squats

-Feet Parallel x12

-Hold Squat

-Single Arm Rows x10/arm

-Pulses x10

Sumo Squats

-Feet Turned Out/Second Position x12

-Hold Squat

-Double Arm Rows x10

-Heel Lifts x10

-Pulses w/ Heel Lift x10

Spinal Rotation

-Facing Left x10

-Facing Right x10

Single Leg Squats

-Right Leg x10

-Left Leg x10

Chest Expansion x10

DONE!

This is one of my favorite routines on the Cadillac so I really hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comments!

xo,

Ashley

Mat Pilates Fusion Workout

As far as classical Pilates instruction goes, I’m on the wayyyy other end of the spectrum. I respect classical exercises and teach them often, but my favorite part about being an instructor is having the creative freedom to come up with new and exciting exercises for both my clients and myself. I believe it’s incredibly important to constantly switch up your workouts and introduce new exercises into your repertoire so as to “shock” your body and get the maximum benefit from all of your workouts (and almost more importantly to keep you on your toes and ensure you never get bored!). In keeping with this mindset, I have created a workout that fuses a few classical Pilates exercises and principles with other body weight moves that give you a great, comprehensive full body workout.

What You’ll Need:

*click each link to find the exact equipment I use 

Mat

Hand Weights

Magic Circle – can be replaced with mini exercise ball!

Mini Exercise Ball

START

Abs

Rollover x10 + Arm Adduction w/ Magic Circle

Double Arm Lift x10 + Arm Adduction w/ Magic Circle

Oblique Twists x5/side

-Hold on right, squeeze & release circle x10

-Center, squeeze & release circle x10

-Left, squeeze & release circle x10

-Center, torso pulses x10

Glutes

Bridge x10 w/ circle between inner thighs

-Squeeze & release circle x10

-Hip pulses x10

-Hold for 10 seconds

Single Leg Bridge + Arm Adduction x10/leg

-Single Leg Pulses x10 – left

-Single Leg Pulses x10 – right

-Hold bridge, squeeze & release ring w/ arms x10

Arms & Abs

*w/ Mini Exercise Ball beneath Sacrum

Chest Press x10

Shoulder Lifts x10

Flys x10

Tricep Extensions x10

*w/ Magic Circle between ankles

Double Leg Stretch x10

Bicycles x10

Double Leg Lift x10

The Hundred

Arms & Abs

Tricep Dips x10

Russian Twist w/ ball x20/side

Back & Glutes

Baby Cobra x5

Slow Swimming x6/side

Swimming 10 seconds

*w/ Magic Circle between ankles

Double Leg Donkey Kick x10

Hamstring Curl x10

Double Leg Kick x10

-Hold for 5 seconds

Core

4 Point Plank

-Knee Lifts x10

-Scapula Depressions x10

-Slow Mountain Climbers x5/leg

-Single Leg Kick x5 – right

-Single Leg Kick x5 – left

Glutes, Abs, & Arms

*w/ Magic Circle

Kneeling Glute Work – right leg

-Knee to Chest x10

-Heel to Bum x10

-Foot Circles – forward x10

-Foot Circles – backward x10

-Pulses x10

Side Plank Pulses – 30 seconds – right side

Side Lying Arm Work – right arm

-Lateral Raises x10

-Shoulder Lifts x10

-Semi Circle x5

-Semi Circle Reverse Direction x5

-Tricep Extensions x10

Teaser x10

Leg Lifts x10

Repeat Kneeling Glute Work – left leg

Repeat Pulsing Side Plank – left side

Repeat Side Lying Arm Work – left arm

Core

High Plank

-Hover left leg 10 seconds

-Left knee to left elbow x10

Repeat with right leg

Arms & Legs

Pilates Pushups

-2 pushups + 1 lunge per leg

-*repeat x5

Squats x12

-Pulses x10

-Hold 10 seconds

Sumo Squats x12

-Heel Lifts x10

-Pulses w/ heels lifted x10

-Hold w/ heels lifted 10 seconds

Core

60 second forearm plank

 

Done!

xo, Ashley

Travel TBT: Bachelorette in Tulum!

Tulum has been on my bucket list for a while now, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to be able to go there for my Bachelorette party with my three best friends (Truett included! Duh!) last weekend. Travel has always been such an important part of my life, so I’ve always known I didn’t want to have your typical Vegas bachelorette with a group of drunk girls walking barefoot down the strip while I’m forcibly wearing some type of bright pink “Last Hoorah” sash over my too tight/too short minidress. More power to the girls who are down for that, but I just can’t hang anymore…which is why Tulum was perfect for me.

The health and wellness aspect of Tulum is what initially drew me in. It’s always been my dream to move to a beach town for a season to teach Pilates, eat acai bowls, and bum around for a few months, and after experiencing Tulum firsthand my dream has only grown bigger (for reasons you’ll soon find out)! Just as appealing is the pure beauty of the town, beaches, and turquoise blue waters. The absence of any gimmicks and all inclusive resorts literally speaks to my soul. When I think of a tropical vacation, I don’t think of high rise resorts…I think of boutique hotels and beach bungalows. And that is EXACTLY what Tulum is.

There are tons of things to see and do and incredible food to eat, so the below itinerary is just a glimpse of the many amazing options available in beautiful Tulum. But I promise you will not be disappointed if you choose to replicate our trip!

Day One – Thursday 

This day was mostly a travel day, but we made it to Tulum by early evening so we still had a few hours to take advantage of.

AirBNB – We chose to stay in an AirBNB rather than a hotel so we didn’t have to be on top of each other with all of our suitcases and Bachelorette-y party favors (i.e. penis balloons). Our particular AirBNB was about a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the beach in an area called Aldea Zama. Our condo was super cute and modern and included all upgraded finishes. The host was great with their communication, and despite a few hiccups, we really enjoyed our stay here. If you have a smaller group or are just with a significant other, I would recommend staying at a hotel as they are all located on the beach and that’s where you will be spending most of your time.

Rosa Negra – After checking into our condo and freshening up, we took a taxi to the beach and stumbled upon Rosa Negra. A combination of our ravenous appetites and the restaurant’s beautiful decor made our decision for us and it’s a decision we did not regret! We all ordered an array of salads, tacos, empanadas, and ceviche and were in absolute Heaven. Everything was so fresh and delicious, I’m salivating even thinking about it now. 10/10 would recommend!

Day Two – Friday

Sanara Tulum – Per my future sister in law’s recommendation, we started our day off with yoga at Sanara and breakfast at The Real Coconut. I cannot think of a better way to start my day or a more beautiful setting to do so. The yoga studio is situated right on the beach and the retractable walls were all open so we could hear the sound of the waves crashing while we flowed through our practice. After building up an appetite we made the short walk over to The Real Coconut – the most adorable, made for Instagram cafe – where I had probably the healthiest meal of my life. In keeping up with the theme in Tulum, everything was incredibly fresh and delicious. We definitely left with happy bellies!

 

Gran Cenote – After breakfast we made our way to Gran Cenote, an amazing cavern/swimming hole. This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, if not THE highlight. The water is a stunningly clear blue and it literally looked fake in some parts. We had a blast swimming and exploring the multiple caves and looking up at the bats flying around. At one point there was a torrential downpour and it was absolutely surreal. Any trip to Tulum wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Gran Cenote, and when planning your visit make sure to go early to avoid the crowds!

Hartwood – Every person I know that has been to Tulum told me to go to Hartwood for dinner. We made reservations a few weeks in advance and were blown away by how fantastic the food was. Everyone in our group has slightly different palettes (one of which being vegan) so it was really cool to see how the different restaurants in Tulum were able to accommodate our different tastes. Hartwood was no exception as we all slowly died over our meals. One of the most memorable for all of us was the side sweet potato I ordered. It is unlike anything we’ve ever eaten…slowly cooked over a wood stove with honey butter and cacao (?!?!?!). TO.DIE.FOR.

Mur Mur – After dinner we strolled through town and stopped at a few boutiques and bars, but we ended up planting ourselves at the cute little bar at Mur Mur and had a great night. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I don’t drink and have been drunk only once in my life (off two glasses of wine in my old apartment with my fiancé). Considering it was my Bachelorette party, I figured I should let loose a little bit. Two glasses of rose and two shots of tequila later…I was SMASHED. My friends thought it was the most hilarious thing they’ve ever seen. “Our necks should support our heads better.” – Me

Day Three – Saturday

Ahau Tulum – We came to Ahau for breakfast on the beach and I swear to you I had the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had in my entire life. I used to live in San Diego so that’s saying A LOT.

Beach Day – One of my biggest priorities on the trip was having a day to relax on the beach. Donning the matching bathing suits my besties got for us, we found a public beach next to Azulik and rented lounge chairs for 300 pesos per person (to go toward food and drinks). After living on the freezing East Coast for the past few months this was exactly what I needed.

Posada Margherita – Most likely owned and operated by the creators of Pinterest. This Italian restaurant is one of, if not THE cutest places I have ever been to. We ate right on the beach (as in toes in the sand) during sunset and were basically on one big honeymoon because it was perfect. The pasta is made fresh and was some of the best I’ve had anywhere in the world. Something to note is that Posada does not take reservations and gets really busy during the late dinner hours so if you want to avoid waiting you may want to consider coming early.

Papaya Playa Project – Other than small bars along the main road, Tulum is fairly quiet in terms of nightlife. The one night the town really comes to life is on Saturdays at Papaya Playa Project. This beach bar turned nightclub is right on the water and has multiple levels with various bars scattered throughout. We had planned for this to be the one big night of the trip, but were unfortunately disappointed with how it turned out. The potential this place has is huge, but the whole vibe really fell flat to us. Maybe we were just unlucky, but the DJ on that particular night played nothing but lounge music and it felt like you had to be on drugs to really enjoy it. We put in a solid effort but after a couple hours we decided to head back to our AirBNB, where we ended up having an awesome time drinking and played Heads Up. LOL

Day Four – Sunday

This day was another travel day as we prepared to head home, but we managed to take advantage of our last few hours by using the bikes provided by our AirBNB to explore Tulum Town on our way to breakfast.

DelCielo – Another Instagram worthy cafe located in Tulum Town. Truett literally ordered Huevos Rancheros every day and she said her favorite was at DelCielo, which means A LOT coming from her! I had an acai bowl with a croissant on the side. 🙂

 

Three and a half days in Tulum definitely was not enough when considering all this dream of a beach town has to offer, but I was SO happy with how my Bachelorette trip turned out and I wouldn’t change a thing for the world. A special thank you goes to my best friends who gave me the trip of a lifetime. I can’t wait to return the favor on your future Bachelorettes!

If you have any questions or favorites from your past trips to Tulum you think we should know, please send us a note because we will definitely be back!

xo,

Ashley

Mat Pilates Workout

Before I moved to Virginia, Pilates completely ruled my life. I was either teaching or playing around on reformers, cadillacs, chairs, and ladder barrels every day of the week and I loved it. Now that I’m here I’ve barely even touched Pilates equipment. And I kid you not most people in Virginia don’t even know what a reformer is. Insane right?! Because of this, the only real Pilates I’ve had in my life has been on the mat. I used to get really bored with mat Pilates because there aren’t nearly as many exercises or variations you can do with it, but since I haven’t had much of a choice lately I’ve been working on new mat workouts…and if I’m being honest I’ve really enjoyed it. I love being challenged, and in order for me to be the strongest teacher and student possible I need to pay just as much attention to my mat as I did to the apparatuses. Here is one of the flows I’ve been playing around with. Have fun with it and keep in mind the video is sped up x2!

START

Abs

Rollover x10

Double Arm Lift x10

Single Leg Kicks x10 per leg

Teaser + Double Arm Lift x10

Glutes

Bridge x10 + 10 pulses

Single Leg Bridge

Halfway Lift x10

Knee Extensions x10

Leg Lift x10

Repeat on other leg

Abs

Double Leg Stretch x10

Single Leg Stretch x10 per leg

Hamstring Pull x10

Leg Lift & Lower x10

Core

Rolling Like a Ball x5

Quads & Arms

Thigh Stretch + Bicep Curl x10

Thigh Stretch + Shoulder Lift x10

Thigh Stretch + Lateral Raise x10

*if you don’t have weights, skip the arms and just do the thigh stretch. Add a few extra sets of pushups to get your artwork in!

Glutes

4 Point Kneeling

Donkey Kick x15 + 10 pulses

Crossover x15 + 10 pulses

Straight leg kick x15 + 10 pulses

Abs

Bird Dog x5 per side

Knee to Elbow x5

Repeat on other side

Back

Baby Cobra x5

Supermans x10 + Swimming 10 seconds

Dolphin Kicks x10 + 5 second hold

Arms & Abs

Pushups x10

High Plank 30 seconds

Low Plank 30 seconds

Glutes & Abs

Side Lying Glutes

Marching x10

Cycling x10

Cycling reverse direction x10

High Kicks x10

Bottom Leg Lifts x10

Double Leg Lifts x10

Circles x10

Circles reverse direction x10

Upward pulses x10

Side Plank + Thread the Needle x15

Repeat on other side

Abs

The Hundred

Leg Swims x10 for 3 rounds

Leg Criss Cross x10 for 3 rounds

Arm & Leg Pulse x10

 

DONE!

xo, Ashley

Ashley’s Upper Body Burn

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new workout, and I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty. If you read my recent #TravelTBT post, you know I just recently moved to the east coast. Between driving across the country, moving into and renovating our new home, Christmas, and New Years, I pretty much gave two shits about my body. For the first time in my almost 29 years of life, I stopped working out and was eating some of the worst food this country has to offer (for almost two straight months)(I had McDonalds breakfast twice in one week…kill me). I honestly didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror, and was admittedly pretty scared of what it was going to take to get my body back to what it was pre-AshleyApocalypse.

Lucky for me, I have probably the biggest motivation known to womankind to get my ass back into shape. MY WEDDING. On January 1st, along with the rest of the world’s population, I went full on psycho mode and got my mind right for what I needed to do to get ready to marry my man (in an XS, ultra tight wedding gown) on June 8th at 5pm on the dot.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite workouts to tone and strengthen your upper body. My dress is sleeveless so you better believe I am going to focusing on my arms like a crazy person over the next 4+ months.

What You’ll Need:

5-10lb dumbbells…pick a weight you can maintain throughout the entire workout!

This series works in a progression. It may seem super repetitive, but I promise you won’t be able to use your arms when you’re done. The below video is an example of pace & form as well as the easier & harder versions of pushups!

Let’s Go!

12 Bicep Curls

12 Slow Bicep Curls (3 counts up, 3 counts down)

12 Bicep Pulses

12 Pectoral Pushups (arms slightly wider than shoulder width)

10 Bicep Curls

10 Slow Bicep Curls (3 counts up, 3 counts down)

10 Bicep Pulses

10 Pectoral Pushups

8 Bicep Curls

8 Slow Bicep Curls (3 counts up, 3 counts down)

8 Bicep Pulses

8 Pectoral Pushups

Quick Break

12 Shoulder Press

12 Slow Shoulder Press

12 Shoulder Press Pulses

12 Tricep Pushups (hands together, elbows tight to your sides. I’ve included the easier option on your knees in the above video)

10 Shoulder Press

10 Slow Shoulder Press

10 Shoulder Press Pulses

10 Tricep Pushups

8 Shoulder Press

8 Slow Shoulder Press

8 Shoulder Press Pulses

8 Tricep Pushups

 

Now try raising your arms over head! 😉

xo,

Ashley

 

Weekend of Workouts in NYC

I visited Truett in New York over the long MLK weekend and we literally did nothing but workout the entire time…which is obviously my kind of weekend! I haven’t had very much Pilates in my life since moving to Virginia, and my body was CRAVING it. Where better to satisfy my craving than the Pilates capital of the world?! Truett was super cute and planned an entire workout itinerary for us and took me to all of her favorite studios. Let me tell you…they did not disappoint. Here is a quick breakdown of the six workouts we did in the four days I was there:

Friday PM

Soul Cycle West Village – this was completely unplanned, but once my flight landed I needed to sweat, so we walked from Truett’s apartment to get our cardio fix from MB.

Saturday

Wundabar Soho – Truett was most excited to bring me to Wundabar…a mix of Pilates & Barre on their very own patented Wundaformer. I was a little out of a my element at first considering I’m trained on formal Pilates equipment, but once we got going I had so much fun! Our instructor, Cate, delivered a kick ass workout. Definitely recommend her! Best part of all, your first class is only $10 and Wundabar donates 100% to Robin Hood Foundation.

New York Pilates – A few hours after our first workout of the day, we headed to New York Pilates (aka Mecca). I think every Pilates instructor in the country has heard of this studio, and just like everyone else I was dying to take a class. As soon as I walked into their Soho location it was like I died and went to Heaven. The design and even the SMELL were both enough to make me want to move into and live in the studio. But I digress…NYP has an awesome new client special that gives you 3 classes for $90 (1 class is normally $40), which I obviously purchased because I was OBVIOUSLY going to come back every day I was in town. Saturday’s class was Burnout with Kai-Ting. Talk about a b-u-r-n-o-u-t. So good.

Sunday

New York Pilates – On this day we took Advanced Technique with Meg Broome. Her exercises were super creative and I definitely got my butt kicked. Probably my favorite Pilates class all weekend.

Monday

Monstr Cycle – After four workouts in three days you can probably imagine how exhausted our bodies were. That didn’t stop us from getting to the Beyonce themed class at Monstr Cycle’s Limelight location though! The studio is located in an old church and music videos serve as the background in every class. You can bet your ass we woke right up as soon as Beyonce started to serve our Monday morning cup of inspo. So fierce. So fun. So sweaty. **First class is $15!**

New York Pilates – We had signed up for Mariusz’s Advanced Technique class, which hilariously enough ended up being taught as a beginner class. He made a mistake and didn’t realize it until the class was already over. Truett and I were both super confused the entire time because we thought our bodies would have given up on us by then, but everything in class was crazy easy so we were like “ummm are we just that strong?” Yes and no. LOL. NYP graciously added a class back to our account so I have one to use the next time I visit! A+ on the customer service!

 

I’m probably a freak for saying this, but our weekend workout trip was what fitness dreams are made of. Every instructor at every studio delivered like no one else could, and I am still trying to figure out how to make a commute from Virginia Beach to Manhattan work because they were THAT GOOD. If you’ve never been to any of the above mentioned classes, do yourself and your body a massive favor and sign up!

xo,

Ashley

Ashley’s Glute Series

Happy Monday, everyone!

My gift to you for waking up and showing up for this brand new week is one of my favorite workouts to teach in my advanced Reformer Pilates classes. It targets the “forgotten” muscles of the booty (gluteus medius) and is an incredibly versatile series of exercises. The video demonstrates one of the easier versions of this workout, but there are several variations that can increase the difficulty if you’re looking for more of a challenge.

***Below options progress from beginning to advanced

MAT

Option 1: Shown in video

Option 2: Incorporate ankle weights

REFORMER

Option 1: Side lying on carriage with 1 blue spring

Option 2: Side lying on carriage with 1 red spring

Option 3: Side lying on long box with head towards head rest with 1 blue spring

Option 4: Side lying on long box with 1 red spring

Option 5: Side lying on long box with 1 blue spring + ankle weights

Option 6 (if you’re insane): Side lying on long box with 1 red spring + ankle weights

 

Give it a go and let me know how those booties feel when you’re done!

 

xo, Ashley

10 Minute Arms & Abs!

I love it when people say they “don’t have enough time” to workout. It’s like the greatest excuse known to man. We have 24 hours in a day, and if you can’t take an hour out of your day to do something that your body probably NEEDS, you have your priorities all twisted. I understand that people have a million things to do between work, kids, school, etc, but you have to make yourself your #1 or everything else is going to suffer as a result. But like I said, I get it. Easier said than done. Which is why this week’s workout is quick and to the point. I know you have 10 minutes (possibly less if you go hard!), so let’s do it!

For reference, Single Leg V-Up =

***your legs will most likely be significantly straighter than my jacked-up-too-tight-hamstring-bent-ass-knee-run-too-much-freaking legs (I’m working on it!!!), but I bet my abs are stronger than yours 😉

START:

10 Pushups

10 Single Leg V-Ups per side (20 total)

9 Pushups

9 Single Leg V-Ups per side

8 Pushups

8 Single Leg V-Ups per side

7 Pushups

7 Single Leg V-Ups per side

6 Pushups

6 Single Leg V-Ups per side

5 Pushups

5 Single Leg V-Ups per side

4 Pushups

4 Single Leg V-Ups per side

3 Pushups

3 Single Leg V-Ups per side

2 Pushups

2 Single Leg V-Ups per side

1 Pushup

1 Single LegV-Up per side

 

If you have more than 10 minutes and are looking for a full body workout, try incorporating this series into last week’s Cardio/Leg Blast!

 

Happy Monday, you sexy beasts!

xo, Ashley

Cardio/Leg Blast!

Today’s workout is a quick and awesome way to burn out those stems and get your heart rate up at the same time. Breaks aren’t necessary because you should be able to finish the entire series in 15 minutes or less (you’re welcome). As always, I like to use my favorite ab routine as a warm up.

LET’S GO!

LEGS

Side lunge (right) x25

CARDIO

Standing Twist – 15 sec slow/15 sec fast per side

LEGS

Lunge Sequence (left leg back)

-Back lunge x5

-Back lunge + leg lift x5

-Jumping lunges x5

*4 rounds*

CARDIO

20 mountain climbers

5 burpees

*3 rounds*

LEGS

Side lunge (left) x25

CARDIO

Jumping V’s x5

1 = 1 full round in all directions

LEGS

Repeat above Lunge Sequence (right leg back)

 

Finish with a 1 minute plank for good measure 🙂

 

xo, Ashley

Travel TBT: San Diego

I’m kicking myself for it now, but I spent most of the three years I lived in San Diego hating it. It was my first time moving away from home and Southern California was just way too different from everything I was used to. Only when people came from out of town did I realize how great San Diego actually was, and when I visited last week I found myself actually missing it. Although I only moved in April, I had the best time revisiting all of my favorite spots. I’m super excited to share some of those with you, and if you’re a crazy dog person like I am you’re going to find my list extra helpful because I practically take my dog everywhere with me.

We lived in Coronado the entire time we lived in SoCal, but there are so many awesome parts of San Diego that it’s hard to recommend where you should stay. It definitely depends on how much time you have, but no matter where you stay you should definitely rent a car (unless you have friends in town or plan on ubering everywhere) because you have to be willing to travel around to hit all the best spots.

Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

Food

San Diego has a killer food scene, so it’s hard to make a list that isn’t a mile long.

Harry’s Coffee Shop – Located in La Jolla, this awesome little diner is hands down my favorite breakfast place in all of San Diego. I love the old school feel and the food is amazing. My fiancé loves the BW Benny and I’m a sucker for their pancakes.

-Other great breakfast spots: Fig Tree Cafe, Hash House A Go Go, Great Maple

Buona Forchetta – A friend of mine introduced me to this little South Park gem when I first moved to SD and it has been one of my favorite restaurants ever since. If you’re looking for genuinely delicious/authentic Italian food and pizza, this place is a must. In my opinion it’s one of the best restaurants in all of San Diego.

Bencotto – Another great Italian restaurant located in the heart of Little Italy. I always start with their burrata and prosciutto and nine times out of ten order their penne pasta with Bencotto sauce.

Lucha Libre – Traveling to San Diego and not having a California burrito is pretty much a sin, and the best one can be found at Lucha Libre (the Mission Hills location is WAY better than North Park). This is where you go when you feel like being an absolute pig (in the best way possible). Little tip, adding refried beans will take it from a 10 to a 20.

-Lunch/Dinner Honorable Mentions: Underbelly, Queenstown Public House, Brooklyn Girl

***Most of these places are dog friendly 🙂

 

To Do

Coronado Dog Beach – Talk about dog HEAVEN. If you come here on a weekend there will literally be hundreds of dogs running around and it is ridiculously fun. We were lucky enough to live just a few blocks away so we were here all the time, but going back last week reminded me of how freaking awesome it is. My dog Atlas has an absolute blast and I can almost guarantee yours will too.

Coronado Human Beach – If you don’t have a furry friend and are just looking to have a beach day, I would definitely recommend Coronado. The beach is huge and always super clean. You can find a spot in front of Hotel del Coronado and grab midday drinks!

Hiking – There are like seven million trails throughout San Diego County so you definitely have plenty of options, but my favorite has always been Torrey Pines. It’s not very challenging, but the views of the ocean are beautiful. The famous Potato Chip rock hike is totally overrated, but you get a decent workout with it. If you’re a psycho looking for a full day adventure, give El Capitan a go.

Pilates – You knew this was going to be on my list. If you’re looking to get your ass handed to you, take a class from Adriana at Live Love Pilates in La Jolla. Go next door and refuel with a yummy smoothie from Beaming afterwards.

Balboa Park – You can spend an entire day here exploring the various museums and weaving in and out of the many gardens. Definitely not just a tourist trap. Worth a visit if you have the time!

Nightlife/Bars – I’m not as much of a partier as I used to, but San Diego has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife.

-The Gaslamp: I used to avoid this part of downtown like the plague, but if you’re looking for a legit club vibe this is where you’re going to want to be. The whole area is overrun with tourists, but I can’t say I haven’t had a good time here.

The Beachcomber: I’m including this little beach bar as an homage to my fiancé because it’s his favorite place in the world. It’s a no frills dive bar located in Mission Beach, and depending on the day it’ll either be filled with college kids or old people. I talk shit about “The Comber” to piss my fiancé off, but I honestly have a great time every time I’m here.

McP’s Irish Pub: This is an awesome spot for day drinking in Coronado. They play live music on Sundays and allow dogs on their patio!

 

Although I had a hard time adjusting to San Diego when I first moved there, I’m so happy I had the opportunity of living in one of the most awesome cities in California. There are so many great things to see and do so make it a point to head down to the whale’s vagina as soon as you can!

Stay classy, San Diego!

Ashley