A First-Timer’s Experience at Massage Envy Spa

In all fairness, I’m pretty horrible at self-care. I know what I should do, but I usually ignore all of that preventative maintenance stuff. Stretching after a run? Who has time for that? My hamstring’s bothering me again, but I’ll just walk it off instead of breaking out my therapy ball and doing some rolling. I’m not even a very good flosser. But a couple of the things I keep meaning to do a better job lately of is getting routine massages and doing a better job of my skin care routine. Fortunately, my friends at Massage Envy Spa seemed to telepathically know that I really needed to get a good prenatal massage and facial in before Baby v2.0 makes her arrival, so they offered me an opportunity to check out their massage and facial services. I had not been to a Massage Envy Spa before, but my sister is a member and has only had good things to say about it. And she’s right; my first experience was fabulous and I can’t wait to go again!


Oh, and before you get all wowed by my sudden improvement in photography, I didn’t take any pictures during my visit. It felt weird. So these are some photos from the Massage Envy Spa website.

Setting up my appointment was easy. You go online to massageenvy.com, find a convenient location near you, and fill out the appointment request form. At least, that’s how I did it. They called me back promptly to confirm the date, time, and services I requested. I had originally scheduled my massage for Saturday afternoon, but then Hulk and I had a major “I thought you were watching Squish” moment when we realized we had both booked non-preschooler activities for ourselves on Saturday. So I called them Friday to reschedule, and they were able to move my appointment to Sunday evening no problem. Which turned out to be a brilliant move, really. I am always booking my massage appointments Sunday night so I can just fall into bed and tackle Monday morning stress-free and well-rested!

My appointment-booker-person advised me to come a few minutes early so I could fill out the first-timer paperwork. I was getting a prenatal massage and facial, so I filled out a couple of quick forms with some brief medical and skincare history, what’s been bothering me, what I’m looking to get out of my service, and other good stuff for my therapists to know. I was pleased with the attentiveness of the staff. They offered me a glass of water and a trip to the restroom before I was introduced to my therapist and escorted to the treatment room. We chatted briefly about the paperwork notes I had completed and what I was looking to focus on (my crunchy computer muscles in my arms and shoulders) and then it was down to business.

The Nap, I mean, Treatment Room

The treatment room was just right. The lighting was dim, they were playing some soothing music, and the temperature was cool enough where I wasn’t sweating like crazy but the warm table and blankets made me quite comfortable. For prenatal massage, there is a couple of ways I’ve done it. One is with a special table with a cut-out for the belly in the middle, but I’ve only had that done once. The way most places do it that don’t have the belly-cut-out table is for you to lie on one side with pillows to bolster you up. Since I’m a huge neck-and-shoulder massage junkie, I actually prefer this to the belly table. I feel like they can really get in and do things one side at a time, and sometimes the belly table is made for normal size humans and not petite little 5’0″ me, so it was quite comfortable. That hour was over with much too quickly, let me tell you.

After my massage I was offered another glass of water (yay hydration! I was getting parched) and then my facial therapist came in. He and I chatted about my skincare routine, what I was looking for in my treatment, and told me what treatment he was going to provide for me. We skipped the facial peel, since it contains some stuff that’s not good for pregnant women to use, but we did the rest of the Environmental Shield Vitamin C product line facial, which is great since that’s the skin care routine I’ve been using. Now, I never get facials. I’ve had one in my life, and that was several years ago off a Groupon. So I have not much to compare it to. And normally I have pretty great skin, so it never occurs to me to seek out facials as part of my usual routine (he kept telling me “your skin is like butter!” which made my day). So after the series of steaming, gooping stuff on, wiping it off, gooping really nice-smelly stuff on, wiping it off, wrapping my face in warm towels, doing a bit of “extraction” on my nose, and gooping more stuff on I really didn’t know what to expect. But holy wow, if my skin was like butter before, it was like silk now. I couldn’t believe how soft it was! I was absolutely glowing. And I wish I took a picture of my massage/facial hair. It’s like bed head with a glow.

Kinda like this, only not as cute.

After a final glass of water, I thanked my therapists and checked out, in a floaty cloud of post-pampering dazed bliss. Good thing I only had a block to walk to get home. And as I mentioned before, getting my treatments done on a Sunday night was brilliant. I floated home and right to bed, with my stress level back to a reasonable baseline and all of my achy spots relieved, ready to tackle the week.

The moral of the story? Be kind to yourself and get a spa day booked.

Disclosure: My treatments were provided to me free of charge by Massage Envy Spa. All opinions are my own.

Home Alone, the Mom Version

Another day, another latte on the Metro.


I am slowly getting back to reality after my mom-cation last week. Hulk was out of town for work, and Squish’s babysitter took him to Sacramento to visit family for the week. So I had the entire apartment all to myself for the first time in I don’t know how long.  I spent it mostly doing this:


… and then binge watching “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix and sleeping. Oh, and I cleaned the whole place in two hours, because there were no humans around me to get in my way. And I had a couple dinner dates with friends. It was nice not having to be responsible for other people for a while. Single people with no kids have no room to complain that they don’t have time. Unless they have real hobbies or charity work or, like, work three jobs or something. But really, when your time is all your own, it’s amazing how much you can do with it. Or squander it, as in my case.

Anyway, everyone came home over the weekend, so it’s back to live in the current normal again. We looked at houses. Again. I’m starting to lose faith that we’ll find something we really like before I go on maternity leave. I think we’ll have to settle for something we can do for now instead of something that we’re really excited about. But at the end of the day, whatever happens will happen and we did the best we could. I just fell in love with the perfect house again, and since the last time I let myself mentally move in only to have our offer turned down, I’m all morose and pining for it. Boo-hoo me, #firstworldproblems.

Speaking of boo, I actually put together a Halloween costume for this year. Squish’s grandma is making his costume and I know what it is, so I decided to theme it up to match what Squish will be going as. Here’s a hint:

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Too much awesome right there. Can you believe I haven’t seen it yet?

Hope you all had a glorious Fall weekend. Anyone pick up some pumpkins or apples? Go make it a great day!

35 Weeks

I still haven’t wrapped my head around how much volume I take up now. I used to be able to squeeze in between the crowds in airports and busy SF streets without issue (benefits of being 5’0″ tall), but now I seem to have acquired all of this circumferential mass that I have yet figured out how to wield. Even at home, if Hulk doesn’t have is desk chair pulled all the way in, I get stuck trying to pass behind him on the way to my desk.


Elevator selfies are the best.

She’s still sitting breach from what I can tell. At my next appointment next week I may be sent in for an ultrasound and fetal stress test to see if she can handle being turned. I forgot to ask my doctor what happens if she can’t be turned. Well, I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Baby Size She’s about 20in long and weighs around 5 lb now. The doctor said she’s very similar in size if not a little bigger to what Squish was at this stage, and he was born at 6lb 8oz which was nice. Yay for small babies!

Symptoms Lots of puffy ankles, an achy belly from dragging all that weight around, and raging, furious heartburn. Other than that I’ve been feeling pretty normal.

Cravings I eat everything.

Weight Gain My weight gain has leveled off. I think I’ve gained around 30 lbs. My doctor said my weight gain has been right on par with what I gained with Squish, with some weeks the numbers matching exactly. And I dropped the baby weight like a bad habit when I was nursing, so I’m pretty confident I’ll be down to my “fighting weight” after a few months postpartum. I’m am really, really eager to start running again!

Other Thoughts I’ve been in a bit of a sour mood lately, and I think it’s been a combination of life stress, my crap-tastic diet, and hormones. I read somewhere that depression is pretty common during pregnancy (not to forget postpartum depression, which is pretty serious), and I am having a difficult time getting out of my own head and quelling the negative thoughts I tend to brood on. Hulk has been rock star awesome at being very understanding and helping me out where he can. Mostly I’m dealing with my own frustrations at no longer being able to do what I’ve always done but can’t now, and fear about how much life will change with 2 needy, small humans instead of just 1 that other people take care of for me. I’m not a very “maternal” person, and I always feel like a bad mom when I can’t figure out what Squish wants, or after four hours alone with him I’m totally done with him. I don’t know how Hulk and other stay-at-home parents do it. I keep thinking that it’ll be different with this baby, since I’ve been through it before and I know the mistakes I want to correct and it’ll totally be better. But I know that’s not the case. I may have already raised a baby, but I haven’t raised this baby. Who knows what fun surprises she has in store!

Bad Blogger

I’m entering “bad blogger” territory again. After a good few weeks of feeling motivated and like I have so much to gal about, I then get into this major “meh” state where I don’t really feel like I have much worth saying. I talk about food, but really there’s nothing unique or creative about what I’ve been eating lately. Workouts are a long walk during my lunch break, where I get to say hi to the neighboring waterfowl.


I didn’t get hissed at this time taking the picture, so I think the geese are growing accustomed to my unusual obsession with aviary photography.

Last night I stayed up late to help write two more offers on some houses we toured last weekend. Since Hulk still has his San Francisco broker’s license he’s acting as our agent, which is super convenient since he has access to the realtor listings and can contact the seller’s agents directly which speeds up the communication process. But he is out of town this week without access to his files, so I had to actually write up the offers, which was kind of exciting. Let’s hope we get a good one!

This weekend I have a facial and massage scheduled with Massage Envy Spa. I can’t wait! I especially love it when my shoulders go “crunch crunch crunch” and the therapist is like, “you work at a computer, don’t you?” Then I’m hoping to take Squish to the pumpkin patch on Sunday. I’m going to find a pumpkin that’s as big as my belly and pose with it next to my belly.

That’s all for me, make it a great day!

The Waiting Game and a Pie Fail

Lately life is a big holding pattern. Waiting to have a baby. Waiting to buy a house. Handing off my work to my colleague so I can take my leave, meaning I’ll soon be waiting to get back to work. It’s hard feeling stuck in one place when all you want to do is move on.

We looked at twelve houses over the weekend. Twelve. We’ve put in offers on two and have already been turned down on both of them. I’ve stopped looking at it from the warm fuzzy ” we’re buying a home for our family!” place and started trying to view it as a business transaction. It’s less irritating and painful that way. Once we actually close on something will I allow myself to get all excited and mentally decorate. San Francisco real estate is nuts.

I had my 34 week doctor appointment last week, and the little miss is still sitting breech (head up, which isn’t ideal). If she hasn’t turned by my next appointment in two weeks, I’ll need to go in for a fetal stress test and assessment to see if she’s a candidate for manual turning. Fortunately I’m a good candidate since I’ve had a baby before so I’m still stretchy and have a “proven” pelvis that works, but we have to make sure the peanut is up for it, that she has enough fluid and the umbilical cord isn’t in a wonky position. As many times a day she kicks my bladder and head-butts my ribs, the least she could do is put some of that energy into a quick somersault.

In less depressing news, the other day there were still baked potatoes available in the downstairs cafe for lunch. Score!


#allthecarbs. I never get baked potatoes unless someone else baked them for me. I’m too lazy otherwise.


Also, I made my first pumpkin pie. I have never made one before. I failed on one of the rules of pie making:
Make sure your filling volume does not exceed your crust capacity. I found out that my filling volume did indeed exceed my crust capacity and spilled pumpkin pie filling all over the place. I salvaged what I could and baked the excess in a separate dish for some good ol’ fashioned crust-less pumpkin pie later on.


I don’t clean while I bake.

And that’s all I have for now. Make it a great Monday!

A House Hunt Update & Some Link Love

Hey, kids! Hope your Wednesday is treating you well so far. It IS Wednesday, isn’t it?

Some updates on our house hunting is first on the agenda today. Last week before we left for a resort with NO WIFI OR CELL RECEPTION we placed an offer on a really beautiful house. Well, while we were away another buyer placed a better offer, so we didn’t get that one. We might have matched the offer had we been in negotiating range, but oh well. Yesterday Hulk went on the Broker tour (it’s like a sneak-peak tour for brokers and realtors of all the new properties that have just come on the market) because technically he is still a licensed realtor. He found a couple of nice houses and is working on making offers on them. I didn’t see them myself, but I trust Hulk to pick a good one. He knows what I like.


Yeah, that’s good too.

Anyway, I don’t have much else to add, so I’ll let the internet fill up the dead space. Here is some link love for stuff I found interesting lately:

When I started blogging, I because ultra-concerned with the investment aspect. How much should I spend on self-hosting? How do I know I’m getting ripped off? The Healthy Maven shares the five things worth the money if you want to get real about blogging, and I agree (except for the camera thing. But you never know, maybe someday I’ll get sick of grainy iPhone photos).


And I love food more than I love pretty pictures of food. Okay, that doesn’t really make sense, but I’ve been wanting to use that image for a while now.

From MindBodyGreen, why don’t you make healthy choices? Self love is key.

A perspective on making money from blogging from The Paleo Running Momma.

From Greatest, how to stop at just one cookie. But why would you want to? My favorite part of the article:

Listen. Don’t ever let anyone tell you what to eat. And conversely, don’t let anyone tell you what you shouldn’t eat.

Amen to that. Especially when my lunch consists of baby carrots and a cookie. Because they balance each other out, right?

That’s it for now, make it a great day!

Some Randoms: Back to Life, Play date Ideas, and Fleet Week

Bah! This morning totally escaped me. I made my train but then got totally sidetracked my shiny work things, and before I knew it, it’s lunch already. Busy days that whiz by are the best, really.

My due date is 6 weeks away. I’m freaking out now. And achy. Very achy.

Speaking of achy, we spent the weekend at some hot springs in Calistoga. It was glorious! I floated in mineral pools all day, and got a water massage. My belly was very happy with me.

Some work breakfast of yogurt, granola, and grapefruit. All the grapefruit.


Also, I’ve been a good girl and have been remembering my reusable coffee cup. It’s silly how I never have it on me. It’s one of those Contigo cups that seal great and don’t spill in your purse, even if they’re sideways and you’re flopping back and forth on the bus. If you are a hard-core commuter, it’s the only travel mug I’d recommend.

I went for a walk after lunch yesterday. I was sort of dreading it since it’s been so hot lately, but in the shade it was a quite pleasant 72 degrees. Look, flowers!


And I’ve missed my Squishy-man. Now that I’m grounded from travel with no more trips or weekend getaways planned for a while I might be able to hang out with him a bit before baby comes and destroys his happy little only child life. On my list of mommy-son experiences is a visit to the pumpkin patch and checking out some train museum that is somewhere in the city. I can’t remember the name of it. But, TRAINS!!


Is Fleet Week soon? Because we passed by an aircraft carrier just chilling on the bay this morning. Complete with planes.


Maybe I’ll add Fleet Week to the play date list. Everyone could use some Blue Angels in their life.

Go make it a great day (afternoon)!

4505 Burgers & BBQ: All the Brisket!

Thursday night Hulk and I went to a new-to-me barbecue place just a couple blocks from Alamo Square called 4505 Burgers and BBQ. I had heard through the foodie grapevine that this place is the place to go for some serious barbecue. Spoiler alert: they did not disappoint.


There is always a line out the door, so it took us about 20-30 minutes to place our order at the counter. Long lines are always a good sign.


They were pretty busy, but I have no idea if it was just a busy night or if it was normal. Fortunately, they weren’t sold out yet, so maybe it was the normal crowd.



I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I went with the 2-meat plate with brisket and chicken with cole slaw and potato salad as sides.


Oh yeah, it was dark by the time we sat down on the patio.

That chicken was easily the best barbecue chicken I’ve ever had. It was so juicy and completely the opposite of dry (I say that only because I know folks can get squeamish about the word “moist.” It was moist). The brisket lived way up to expectations. It was so flavorful, and I didn’t need to add any sauce to it to go to town on it. Honestly, the only thing I was disappointed about was the cole slaw. I did not like it at all. I took maybe two bites and decided my appetite was needed elsewhere. I guess I’m just used to the sweet, mayo-based cole slaw. This slaw was mayo based, but had a bunch of herbs instead of the sweet. I tried to accept it for what it was, but I guess I was really looking forward to a classic cole slaw flavor. But who goes to a barbecue place for the cole slaw? I’m told that the baked beans are a home run, so next time I’ll do that instead.

I’ve also heard good things about the 4505 Meats butcher shop. They specialize in “happy” animals from local farms. They work with the farmers directly and make sure the animals are humanely raised, which is really awesome. Once I have a barbecue again I’m totally getting some of their meat for a grillin’ party.

What cool new-to-you places have you discovered recently?

A Day in the Life

I’ve been meaning to do one of these day-in-the-life posts for a while now, and I finally got around to a “normal” day to break one out. As if there is a normal, you know?

5:50 Alarm goes off. I jump out of bed and go to the bathroom to get ready for the day. I only have about 20 min to make it to my train on time, so the extra “I’m already late” charge of adrenaline helps get me out of bed.

6:13 Hit up Starbucks on the way to Muni. The guy in front of me is taking a ridiculously long time ordering his plain black coffee. I’m sweating it thinking I’ll miss my bus again for the third time this week and have to take the later train.

6:32 Success! Made the bus and should consequentially make my train. Plus, I didn’t spill my latte all over my shirt like I do 99% of the time, so it’s already looking like a good day.


6:37 Woot! Made my train. Time to sit back and get a little work done while I commute.



On the train I answer emails and put together my to-do list for the day. My brain usually zings at the speed of light in the morning (even without caffeine!) so it’s the best time for me to brainstorm, jot down ideas, and plan out big tasks.

7:16 Arrive at my station. Take the shuttle bus to the business park where my office is located.


7:28 Arrive at my desk.


Log in. Get set up. Rummage up breakfast in the break room.


This morning is grapefruit and a bagel thin with peanut butter and cream cheese, because I couldn’t make up my mind which spread I wanted.

9:15 Coffee break. The Costco order came in the other day so the break room is fully stocked again, including the Nonni’s biscotti! It’s a nice compliment to a coffee.


12:11 Finish up the morning’s conference calls and carpool with coworkers to Chipotle to grab lunch. Bring it back to my desk so I can be back in time for a 1:00 call.


4:25 Head back to the shuttle to catch my train.

5:04 Train’s on time today! Yay!

6:07 Home! Squish greets me with running up to me with a hug shouting, “Mom’s home!” Easily the best part of my day. Wiped from the day, I go lay down in bed. Squish brings me a couple of books and I read to him. Then he gets out the iPad and watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I relax and chat with Hulk.

6:45 We have dinner plans with friends, so I rally and change out of my work clothes. We get the car to drive to 4505 Meats for some barbecue!


Review to come! OMG, brisket. That is all.

8:38 Come home. Barely awake. Cuddle with Squish for a bit until Hulk comes in to get him ready for bed. Squish and I both get ready for bed at the same time these days, around 9:00. I think about maybe doing a quick load of laundry, but bed seems like a better idea.

9:10 Hulk and I relax and chat about the day. Mostly about the house we just put an offer on. Then Hulk heads to our neighbor friend Phillip’s for a nightcap and I pass out. Good night!

What’s the best part about your day?

Side note: Happy birthday to my mommy! Who knew 40 looked so good? 🙂

On the Bright Side of Things

Good morning!

I hope you enjoyed my recap on the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo. If you couldn’t tell, I had a wonderful time!

So, I had a new experience Monday night. Late in the afternoon, I started having some belly aches. I thought it was indigestion, but it turns out I was wrong. My first clue was when – wait, you’re not eating, right? Maybe save this part for when you’re not eating –  I was throwing up on the commuter train. Yes, I puked on Caltrain. Add that to the “Life Experiences” folder. Fortuntaely, it has toilets so really it wasn’t a problem, except for the really gross fact that I was throwing up in a train toilet.

Anyway, then I proceeded to throw up about every 45 minutes for the rest of the night. Pretty sure I had food poisoning. Hence me being a little MIA on Tuesday. I feel fine now. Man, was that an ab workout! My core hasn’t been this sore in months. So, there’s always a bright side!

So we took it easy with the food thing yesterday as stuff got back on track.

Emergen-C and some grapefruit.



Some green smoothie from Jamba Juice.



In other news, the house hunt is still on. We’re putting together an offer this week on a house we saw last weekend. I’m having mild panic attacks about it. Real estate in SF is no joke, yo. But it’s a beautiful house in a really desireable neighborhood, so we have to jump on it. Also, we signed another lease in our current place because our apartments required a firm yes/no on Monday and if we DON’T have a house before our lease is up we’d be in trouble if we didn’t have a place to live. I do not desire moving twice in six months with an infant. We had flirted with the idea of finding a cheaper apartment elsewhere to help cut costs while we were house hunting, but since we are finding some houses that we could do it looked like we would be in one sooner rather than later. As usual, timing is not on our side.

Whatever. For now, Oracle Open World is happening in our backyard. The other night they had Capital Cities doing a concert outside our window. If I wasn’t puking so much, I would have enjoyed it.



Always a bright side!


Finally, check it out! The Oatmeal has released a new book, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances! It’s time for me to start putting together my birthday wish list, since it’s just around the corner (November 1st for those of you poor souls that remember not this special, magical day). There’s a book signing on October 25th in San Francisco. Anyone interested in joining me (assuming I don’t have a baby yet)?


Someday, in some post-baby, dystopian universe, I will run again. Until then, I’ll just keep reading books about it and update my subscription to Runner’s World. Bright side!

Go make it a great day, kids!