A Gift Guide for Everyone Shopping for Me

It’s crunch time and if you haven’t bought my Christmas present yet like I haven’t for any of the people on my list (procrastination station choo! choo!) you’re single digit days away from being in deep shit. To help you, I ditched the typical Blogger Gift Guide and made this wish list of things I’d be stoked to receive instead. DON’T SAY I NEVER DID ANYTHING NICE FOR YOU! It’s conveniently broken down by type and offers a variety of options for all levels of financial commitment or how much you love me, of which we could argue are or aren’t interchangeable but we don’t have time for such nonsense, so just go on ahead and pay the most attention to the right columns thanks. Pretty much everything is super reasonable.

You’re welcome, mom!

* Sarah OUaL’s Wish List for this Holiday or any Other Gift-Giving Occasion or Random Day When You’re Feeling Generous and Want to Buy Her Happiness With Material Things, Some of Which are Completely and Utterly Ridiculous, None of Which are Even Close to Necessary and Maybe You Should Just Get Her a Nice 6-Pack of Beer Instead *

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Picky Club (snacks+mail=smiles) $27-49/mo  |||  Why Do I Feel Like a Knock-kneed Buffalo When I Run Analysis from REP Lab $350  |||  All-Inclusive Running Vacation $2695 + air

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smiles are free :)  |||  Soleus Heart Rate Monitor $99  |||  Woodway Treadmill $11k (rain check substitute: a new car)

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GoPro Hero $130  |||  SUP Board $790  |||  Gibbs Quadski four wheeler/jetski hybrid for a measly $40k

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Brooks Vanguard $85  |||  these $580 velcros that look exactly like Fisher Price 1-2-3 skates  |||  Acton Rocket Skates – goodbye leg muscles! $700

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crew socks to keep my #inbend winter’y ankles warm $14-20  |||  Oiselle Yeti* $98  |||  D&G Wool Facemask Hat (balaclava, apparently) was $3245 now $1947!

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River Tube with cupholders $15  |||  insulated beer tote $25  |||  adorable teepee my dogs would never use (peepee-teepee joke here) $114  |||  GIANT BEAN BAG CHAIR $1150

* started this list before getting one. yeti is easily the most ridiculous and ridiculously awesome thing I own, and for that it’s staying on this composite list of ridiculousness. if you’ve got a spare hundo to toss around this is a cozy investment you won’t regret, maybe until you have to pee or accidentally go out in public in it.

** p.s.s. If you’re leaning towards Kicks please, please pick the 1-2-3’s

There you go. All the things I’d gift myself if money weren’t real and we didn’t have to buy a couch and mattress for the new place, and if Brian and I hadn’t just ordered our joint-gift KEGERATOR an hour ago. !!!

… What?? The couch and mattress can wait.

Who’s coming over for keg beer, river floating, and paddling this summer??

Spoiled OUaL

(pretty sure this post set an internet record for number of run-on sentences)

A Goodbye Giveaway (Believe Training Journal)

I said you wouldn’t hear from me here until after the move, but something came up and I think you’ll like it and it’s distracting me from packing hell for at least a few minutes so here I am. Tooodle-oo!


I’m not a frivolous spender, and it’s been at least ten years since someone called me an “airhead” or a “flighty space cadet seriously Sarah where’s your brain?” But on Monday when the mailman dropped off a second Believe Training Journal I called myself all those things.

Apparently I pre-ordered journals from both Believe I Am and Picky Bars. I remember the latter because the bars that came with it delivered just in time to become plane snacks for my trip to Ohio. And then I remembered the former when the package showed up on my doorstep.


 Believe Training Journal

they look different because one is shrink-wrapped. the other one had to be un-shrinkwrapped so Lauren Fleshman could autograph it. yup.

I used Lauren and Ro’s first Believe I Am journal after receiving it through a blog campaign, and loved it. Pen + paper is totally making a comeback! It’s retro-cool again like denim overalls and grungey flannels.

Anyway yeah, I liked it so much I bought the new one. Err, two of them. And even though it is gorgeous and full of great tips and helpful training tools, I don’t think I need both of them. If for no reason other than packing space is very limited and there might literally not be room in the Uhaul for two.

Want one? How bout the autographed one? I’d love to send it to a loving new home.

Believe Training Journal inside

  • Comment below with your favorite song to sing in the car. Our road trip spotify playlist needs some help and I’m too busy bubble-wrapping pint glasses to do it.

Sarah OUaL

ends Thursday 11/27 midnight. winner will be chosen randomly

Goodbye, California

Four and a half years ago when we moved to California, we knew it wouldn’t be forever. It was an exciting opportunity at a time in our lives when we didn’t have anything holding us down or keeping us from saying “why not?!”, so we packed up for some temporary fun in the Golden State. A few years of West Coast’ing and we’d head back to our friends and families in Ohio to settle down. Save our seats at the dinner table, ma.


heading to our going away party, March 2010. babies! we were newly engaged then! chico was an only child! what happened to that lipstick?!

The longer we stayed out here though, the more that carpe diem’ish spirit grew. All the “what the hell, let’s do it!”-ness was an unexpected but super awesome perk of making that jump in 2010. Not only did we get to experience so much life in sunny Southern California (in all of its beautifully perfect and obnoxiously fake-perfect ways) but it really got us out of our comfort zones.

[for ease of editing, flow of the story, and respect for all characters, the intro is very “we.” the following will be very singular because I don’t want to speak on Brian’s behalf and also he’s a lot less fucked up than I am so probably none of these really apply to him anyway]

How Uprooting Your Life and Moving Somewhere Far Away Where You Don’t Know Anyone Can Impact Your Life for the (mostly) Better


first month in town, walking the Laguna Beach boardwalk like some young lovesick froufrous (sis was visiting and took this pic)

  • I learned how to open up, soften my steely outer shell, and not be such a judgmental bitch in an effort to make friends. And when that didn’t work I resorted to soliciting people from the internet. The latter boasts a much higher success rate, unshockingly.
  • I realized my Type A was a lot less of a “cute quirk” and more of a deplorable obstacle for anyone trying to make plans, live, or work with me, and let the hippie surfer vibe mellow out my uptight ass a little.
  • I developed the ability to distinguish Thai from Indian curry, pronounce and enjoy pho, and chopstick dexterity I never imagined possible.
  • I became a total and unapologetic beer snob.
  • I grew meaningful relationships (including some I didn’t think would stand the test of time,) let others fizzle out, and planted new ones I’m pretty confident are just getting started. My friend-garden has been weeded, preened, and slathered in manure, and I’m really happy with its outlook. Quality really is the name of the game.
  • I offered a shoulder to the sad and weary, and let myself accept it when I needed one, too.
  • I honestly reflected on our first years of marriage, and (after some time) realized that the valleys are worth more than the peaks. Having someone willing to ride that roller coaster, hand-in-hand or screaming at the top of our lungs, means the world.
  • I fell in and out of love with running like a billion times.
  • I made some career moves that small-town Ohio Sarah wouldn’t have been ballsy enough to make, and some that would’ve made College Sarah cringe, but realized in the end working for/with people you want to be on a team with is a hell of a lot more fulfilling (and fun!) than doing anything just because you’re good at it/stuck in it/went-to-school-for-it-and-are-determined-to-get-your-tuition-money-out-of-it.

On that note…

(you had to realize by now this was all going somewhere)

This weekend I’m closing our SoCal chapter and driving whatever fits in a little tow-behind trailer up to Bend, Oregon. !!!!! <— So many exclamations! A new adventure awaits and I’m outrageously excited about it.

(yes, even the cold and snow)

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bookmarked this page in June and have had it open ever since

It’ll be an unconventional transition at first – Brian’s staying down here to finish out the year at the hospital and going back to Ohio for Christmas. (That was my consolation to his parents for “We’re moving, but it’s not to Ohio yet, sorry!”) I’ll be settling into our new home, taste-testing and run-testing all our new soon-to-be favorite spots, and trying to figure out how to shape-shift my flipflops collection into snowboots.

On the bright side, Emily is still the most easily persuadable person on the planet when it comes to shenaniganing and road tripping, so she’s flying down Friday to make the 15-hour drive with me! And the dogs. Two humans, two small dogs, and an over-packed trailer tugging behind it all. I may have failed to disclose those parts of the deal when I sent the trip proposal.


three words and a screen cap of a cheap flight. like candy from a baby…

California has been great. More so figuratively than literally, but still, 100% grateful for our time here. But you know, “all good things come to an end” and “one door closes another one opens” and all that shit.

Luckily that new door is opening to probably the only place that can rival SoCal’s beer scene. Made convincing Brian a little easier… It only took 3 seconds instead of 30.

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@craft.beer.me version 2.0 is pumped about all the Bend brews to insta

Here’s to a week of frantic packing and purging! You probably won’t hear from me again here until after the move, but you know where to find me on Twitter and IG.

  • Does anyone in Orange County want some furniture, a tube TV, or an orange and black motorcycle? Really, we’re selling 80% of our shit.
  • Does anyone have a favorite pair of cute AND warm winter boots? hashtag I miss my flipflops already…

Sarah OUaL