Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last days in Asheville to-do list

So much to do in the few days that I have to write it down somewhere and putting it on paper creates a huge mess so here goes.

  • Put items up on craiglist.
  • E-mail recommendations.
  • Sort through magazines and cut out things I like then put them in the binder I bought for such things
  • Pluck eyebrows.
  • Watch movies and do nails.
  • 8:30-9:30 Boot camp class
  • 10-11 Bhangra Jam maybe
  • Go to Rocky's with mom
  • Sell books
  • Call a guy about car transporting
  • 4:30 Turbo
  • 5:30 yoga
I'll have to add more on my last days here as they come...

  • Tailgates
  • Gym
  • Morning Glory Cafe
  • Farewell night out
  • Yoga
  • Birthday lunch
  • Zumba & yoga?
  • Take car to get detailed
  • 9-11 gym
  • 9:30 Step
  • 10:30 Yoga
  • 6 Power
  • 7 Step
  • 7:30 Centergy
  • 9:30 Power
  • 10:30 Centergy
  • 5 hip hop
  • 5:30 sculpt
  • 6 Turbo

Semi-seasonal baking: cupcakes from a melon

Yesterday I bought a giant watermelon that I carried like a baby home. I don't really like watermelon, but my mom, aunt, and my roommate do. I like watermelon Sour Patch Kids though I abstain from candy.

That doesn't mean I can't make watermelon cupcakes and eat half of a big one right?

They were good. The inside was okay. I didn't have any food coloring and the spelt flour didn't take to the watermelon flavoring well. However, the frosting. Oh my goodness, the frosting was glorious and very watermelon-y. The frosting took the watermelon flavoring's pink color too.

I was also out of black ball decorations so I used some green jimmies instead. Still cute.

Next up, I have a strawberries.

Before I head out for my nap before Turbo Kick, what's your favorite kind of melon? Watermelon isn't mine. Nor is the flavor. I like honeydew most. :)

(image from me, here!)

Easy eating in the summertime.

Wake up. Eat Greek yogurt, apple sauce, and matcha. Ride upright bike for 30 minutes. Zumba. Stop by Bake It Pretty for green tilt-a-whirl liners. Get books from the library (Good Neighbor Cookbook and The Wonderful Future That Never Was). Eat leftover chicken kebob with veggies.

(image from Bake It Pretty)

Great book. Lots of good recipes. My favorites: cheddar-scallion cornbread, chipotle-pineapple guac, lime & chile crab dip, Earl Grey shortbread cookies, and chili-rubbed roast turkey bread and jalapeno cranberry sandwiches.

I'm excited about the shortbread cookies because I love sweets but also because I was talking to Ian of Sugarbomb Bakery about cookie cutters. I never get to use them because I don't like cookies that would need cookie cutters. I also don't like waiting to refrigerate cookie dough. He gave me a great tip for refrigerating cookie dough:
  • Don't forget it's better to roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper before placing it in the fridge. Otherwise, it'll be too hard to roll afterwards and then it'll get too soft. Here's the video from Bake It Pretty:

One last thing, I'm making these. Today. After the realtor comes and does all her chatting. Ugh, the things we have to do.

(image from Bakingdom)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday: workouts, whoopies, watermelon

I started my morning with little sleep, but I think if I sleep less than 6 hours, I’m good to go. Maybe I haven’t hit my deep sleep yet so I’m not so groggy.

First things first: gym. I was on the elliptical for 30 minutes before I lifted in Power (Body Sculpt if you want). I did great today. I felt chest presses in the rest place: the chest. I added tons of weight for calf raises, and pulled through the lunges. I was rocking it.

The class schedule changes every month and they’ve been using the basketball court for classes too so I hadn’t realized that they moved Zumba to the basketball court and freed up the group fitness room for Centergy (like PiYo) so I went to that today. My triceps are getting a good workout from all the chanturanga push-ups I’m doing nowadays.

Afterwards, I stopped by Bake It Pretty. I got mini cups because I’m out, watermelon flavoring for upcoming watermelon cupcakes, and paper straws. I scored another free cupcake, a mini for myself: white cake with blackberry butter cream. I’m kind of into fruit right now.

Since they changed their hours, I wasn’t able to buy paper straws for days and thus, couldn’t drink my homemade ginger ale.

I made ginger syrup according to Joy the Baker’s recipe the let it rest overnight. I had a nice cup of ginger ale with my tilapia and yogurt for lunch.

After lunch, mom and I ran errands and went to the landfill. It’s in the country with a curvy road to get there. We drove alongside the dirt-encrusted river and found the landfill. Strange enough, the landfill has a gorgeous entrance with big apple tree like trees along the road. Hah. It was quick and easy.

Mom and I headed to the Montford Tailgate Market where she got a King of Pops fresh Georgia peach popsicle. She saw some pretzels, but I took us to Crème Bakery for one of theirs instead. Sadly, when we got there, they were out of cheese filled pretzels. Mom wasn’t too upset, she headed straight for The Hop Ice Cream again. She loves their avocado ice cream and wanted a fifth round of them. She even asked them to call the other location to see if they had any avocado pints left. No avail. Instead, she got green tea and a coconut mint scoop in a waffle cone. I held off.

Turbo was great today. Lately I’ve been sluggish because, for example, I run first, go to hip hop class, and do body sculpt class. Though it’s about an hour and fifteen minutes of pre-Turbo workout and not really too much, I’m fatigued by the time I start Turbo Kick. Today, I just started with body sculpt. I’m usually afraid my body hasn’t warmed up enough to start class at an optimum level, but the instruct incorporates a good and quick warm up in body sculpt.

I chatted with the club manager who signed me up at the gym two years ago. It’s sad, but I will miss the gym most. I grew a lot there and lost a lot too. I learned to love working out in the process of trying to lose weight. I learned that working out gave me energy, made me healthy, made me strong, and I learned that no matter how many squats and lunges I do, I’ve got an ample bottom and I should learn to love it sooner or later. I learned that it wasn’t all about losing weight. I made lots of friends, found tons of supporters, and smiled at numerous people daily.

(image from The Rush)

I’m writing thank you notes to a few of them as well as to my favorite co-worker Ms. Karen. I’ll post them up when I find a white or gel pen to write on the black cards I bought from Blue Barnhouse, a tiny stationary store across the street from the preschool.

In addition to thank you notes, I made a few invitations to my farewell and birthday.
Saturday, July 2 – since I’m an early riser and early sleeper, we’re heading out at 7:30
  • 7:30 – We start at the Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro because it’s like the reincarnation of Usual Suspects where I went all the time and it’s uppity. They have fun liquor drinks and a good menu.
  • 8:30 – Sante Wine Bar or 5 Walnut Street Wine Bar for wine and other libations. I don’t drink wine, but I should start trying some.
  • 9:15 – I first started drinking beer at Thirsty Monk when I was writing my history thesis. It reminds me of my history family and mostly Adam and Conor. I love them and miss them.
Despite all the hard work, I love researching and writing my thesis, especially since I aced the thesis and class. ☺

I wrote on the invite to this that I’m inviting them because “I love you, I like you okay, I saw your name and thought I haven’t hung out with (your name) in a really long time, or I think you’re hot.” The latter is actually true for a few of the people I barely know and would like to see… like this one guy I met in 2006 and decided to friend on facebook. :) I’m so much hotter now dude.

I came upon a recipe today I had to make. I love whoopie pies. Love them so much I would open a whoopie pie making business if I could. It’s a cakey cookie and I used to make cookies that always turned out cakey and my cakes always turned out flatter than usual. Whoopie pies make me feel successful. Paired with my recent love for coconut, I could not pass up the chance to make Samoa whoopie pies. The toasted coconut shreds made the house smell glorious and tropical.

No Yancey, they’re not Samoan because they’re bigger than normal. They take after the Girl Scout cookies of the same name. I made both minis and regular sized ones.

Yum yum yum. Mom and I shared one (mini).

Other eats today:
  • For dinner, I wanted chicken. I bought chicken yesterday, but I was hungry so bought a kebob with chimichurri at Greenlife. Ate half the skewer. I also didn’t have any veggies at home so I got some veggies along with my chicken.

  • I also bought a huge watermelon at Earth Fare because it was $2. I was sad when I had to talk to one of the guys who works there and tell him I was leaving. :/

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lazy night then bed

I've been sitting at home all day except to go to the tailgate. I bought some seeded bread from Farm & Sparrow and couldn't stop eating it. It was my warm baby from the market on this somewhat rainy day. By that I mean, the sky did that big crackle thing and rained for like 10 minutes. Usually, it's a big show, but it wasn't.

Anyways, after all that, I decided to come home, make myself some tilapia (no more of that - I bought chicken!), and ate some yogurt while I started on some ginger syrup. It's still in the works since I didn't buy club soda for the ginger ale.

Instead, I've been online, being lazy and trying to download podcasts. I'm super excited about the podcasts I've encountered.

  • The Table Set for kicks when I have nothing else to listen to. It features three men and so far they talk about dinner parties. I like it because I'd like to throw more dinner parties and they have some fun ideas like Sriracha bubbles.

Newly downloaded:
  • Spilled Milk with Orangette author Molly Wizenberg discusses a different food item each week. They discuss the food and make a dish or a few dishes. Short and sweet.

Currently downloading:

On another note, ModCloth is having a sale. I love this online store. Sadly, clothes buying is out of the picture until I get myself in better shape, or I figure out what size I can wear when it comes to online things.

(image from ModCloth)

This is the only thing I'm considering: bathing beauty one piece in blue velvet.

Summery nails

Afternoon snack: sesame seed balls!

I was surprised by how quick and easy it was to make these sesame seed balls. I found a few recipes but loved the one by Korean American Mommy. All you need is some mochiko flour and red beans. I guess not many people may have that in their pantry but I do so I went for it and it went superbly well.

I opened one up for the picture. It isn't perfect because I can seem to roll the red bean paste inside without tearing the dough, but it was great nonetheless. Mom rolled the rest of them for me because she has better experience with such things.

The agenda for today:
  • 25 minutes of biking
  • step class
  • yoga
  • make these babies!
  • play online - PINTEREST!
  • nap
  • go to bank
  • pay water bill
  • go to tailgate market

Powerfully fishy

I started off Monday early with 25 minutes of biking then Power (Body Sculpt-like) class.

Eating clean is going okay. I've been upping my protein and fiber intakes. Eggs have become less fun so I bought tilapia yesterday.

I baked a fillet and likely sprinkled some coconut with a base of coconut flour, a tad bit of egg yolk, and water. I baked the fillet for 8 minutes at 425 degrees then topped it off with a green curry paste + almond milk mix.

I ate half and gave mom the other half.

I shared half of Creme Bakery's florentine filled foccacia with mom.

After just messing around and not napping, I went to hot Ashtanga yoga. It was... rough. Some of the moves are similar to power yoga classes. It involves lots of vinyasas, jumping into sitting from there, head/hand/shoulder stands, and moves like the first one in this picture below:

(image from Ashtanga Yoga)

Afterwards, I went to the library to return some books and then took my mom and aunt to get cheap wings on Monday at East Village Grille. They love the breaded tiger wings.

I, on the other hand, waited to come home for my tilapia with chipotle tomato sauce with green beans and a slice of red bell pepper topped with a little Earth Balance.

The end of my night was pretty relaxed. I drank my favorite Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea. I would never have picked this tea off the shelf, but it has a wonderful sweetness.

I really needed the proverb.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Those 23 little things

Hey there, in a couple of weeks I'll be in my mid-twenties. I'm excited because the other day, as I described how I had accumulated a bunch of junk in my early twenties, someone said, You're still in your early twenties! Yes, I know, but I can't say I accumulated a bunch of junk in my late teens. That just sounds so wrong...

Last year I made a list of 23 things to do at 23. What was I thinking?! Here they are once again:
  1. Get down to 115. Then... yeah...
  2. Work as a teacher's assistant. This job sucked.
  3. Study for and take the GREs. New plans and will take them when I'm ready to go to grad school.
  4. Go to the NC Apple Festival over Labor Day.
  5. Visit Palm Springs in December.
  6. Watch classic Halloween movies.
  7. Bake doughnuts. And they turned out amazing!
  8. Take the Praxis II. Too late now. Oops
  9. Become a group fitness instructor. TurboKick certified in March!
  10. Visit Austin. This would've been a big trip.
  11. Plan for my home. I have this all done. I don't know why, but I like to get lost in dreams.
  12. Visit Savannah. I didn't get a chance to go with all this moving nor did I go over spring break because of that expensive speeding ticket...
  13. Move. I'm doing this 2 days before I'm 24!
  14. Keep a written journal. I have an obsession with perfection on paper...
  15. Camp. I almost went 3 times. I decided this is unrealistic for the time being. I'm not much of a camper, but it's on my live list.
  16. Go see a doctor!
  17. Get US history plans finished. I just saw these things again and attempted to organize them. Fun stuff.
  18. Have no credit card balance.
  19. Use cash only. This was a tall order eh?
  20. Make potstickers.
  21. Have a garage sale. Done!
  22. Finish my dresser. Good reminder to do that before I leave...
  23. Buy a pair of Nike Air Frees. They're the best shoes ever!
I bolded the things I've done. A lot of them weren't quality ones so I'm excited to make my to do list at 24. I want it to resemble Joy the Baker's. I agree with her, I'm not too sad I didn't finish all of those things.

At least I got the important stuff done.

I can still work on them if I want.

On a (baking & yoga) flooow

I was all set to go. I did my 30 minutes on the elliptical and got ready for yoga. I saw the instructor but then he disappeared!

The group fitness room was out of order for the weekend for Zumba training so we had classes on the basketball court. I saw him looking at the signs stating this, but when I was ready for yoga time, he was gone.

So once again, I went home and popped in Beachbody’s old faithful “Slim in 6.” I love this video for the squat section. My bottom totally feels it.

Lunch was an egg puff with veggies and black bean hummus from Roots Cafe.

Then I decided to bake. A lot.

I was excited to finish my chai tea crème brulee I started last night. It turned out good, but without a blowtorch, I couldn’t get the crunch. The taste was mild and not very sweet so mom like it.

On my list of things to make is a crumble in addition to a pecan pie, a Long Beach lime pie, a tart, a cobbler, and all the other kinds of flaky summery fruit things.

I decided to make an easy crumble per Joy the Baker’s peach and raspberry crumble recipe except I used what I could find: peaches and blackberries. They were so good and easy, and a far call from my usual buttery and fluffy cakey things.

I’m describing everything in such a weird way…

Anyways, after crumble-making, I tried another Joy recipe: lemon & matcha marble pound cake. My mom bought a Sara Lee pound cake and I was outraged. I don't like buying baked goods that come in the frozen section or from the store. If I buy any, they come from a bakery, a good one to boot too.

So I told my mom I would make a pound cake. I had the rum pound cake with pineapple sauce and rum whipped cream. I made that too.

I liked the rum pound cake more. It was fluffier. The lemon and matcha was heavy and what I guess a real pound cake is supposed to resemble.

Realization: mom doesn't like pound cakes, just the Sara Lee kind.

All dirtied up, I went to a new class: kickin' flow with this hottie instructor. It was a chick, but she had the body I wanted and her yoga class was intense. It was little too intense for me at some parts, but I learned a new term: binding. Basically, it's grabbing your hands or arms together instead of having them up to the sky or by your heart.

I hoped to pawn off my baked goods on our couple friends and on the preschool staff tomorrow. Our couple friends came over and chatted for a good long time while we shared beer (I tried some) and ate some crumble.

We also plans in the making for my going away/birthday bash, which I'll share later.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Throw down with Saturday

Today was a struggle. My schedule got thrown off so I was out of sorts in terms of working out.

As you know, I always wake up at somewhere around 7 or 7:30. That’s what happened even though I went to bed at 2AM. I decided that I should get my workout in.

Hey Jillian, haven’t seen you in awhile.

I got good and sweaty, but felt strong today. I was able to execute everything with precision and strength, which is always preferred. Sometimes I’m just struggling to get through. Today, not a problem and it’s great because I can feel my stomach muscles aching. Woo!

I hit up the tailgates. I didn’t get anything but felt the need to go since I love them so much. I had extra time so I went to my car, put on my sneakers – I always have them, and walked to Rise N Shine Café.

I bought a Groupon awhile back and got to use it for a skinny Minnie and a small carrot juice. I ate half the meal: a sausage patty and half the egg white omelet with mushrooms, bell peppers, and broccoli, and all of the tomatoes.

I didn’t use up all the Groupon so I got a to-go order of whole wheat and organic funky monkey pancakes.

I like my time alone. I read a gossip rag and was totally grossed out by this:

(image from celebs24h)

It's 60-year-old Kirstie Alley and 21-year-old formerly Lil' Romeo, Master P's son. From what I've heard, it's supposed to be a publicity stunt. Okay, they both need comebacks so very possible.

After the shock, I walked back, went to the other tailgate, and decided to head home with the pancakes and some spanakopita I bought for my vegetarian aunt.

I napped and did another workout: TurboKick Round 41 at home. I rarely sweat at much at home, but since we sold the coffee table, I've had more space to move!

Then I had more eggs for dinner. I put it on top of some Greek yogurt to make a faux Turkish egg since I didn't poach the eggs. And a waffle. Yeah, I eat waffles sometimes.

Couple of recent bakes

Chocolate-zucchini snack cake from Flat Belly Diet

It was okay. I'd give it a 5 'cause it was too dry.

If I go to the cookout, I want to make some type of summer pie/cobbler/tart.

The second thing I baked last night: the best darn ever gluten-free and vegan chewy chocolate chip date cookies! I've eaten like 5 of these babies since yesterday! :/

Must stop eating them...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Magical eats & hoping to age well

I made myself my matcha & apple smoothie (teaspoon of matcha/green tea powder, ¼ cup of Santa Cruz cinnamon apple sauce, & ½ cup of Greek yogurt).

After the gym, I had trout with zucchini spirals and a magical coconut bar.

The magical coconut bar recipe comes from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. So my coconut bar was a cheat, but I made it with Fiber One so I got in tons of fiber and it was low cal.

I’ve been obsessed with coconuts lately. Speaking of coconuts, I didn’t get to eat this, but doesn’t it look magically delicious?!

I did some job searching, watched “Just Go With It,” and napped.

(image from about)

Job searching is terrible. I’m looking at teaching jobs (still need all my letters of recommendation), museum jobs, and some at 24 Hour Fitness.

Oh yeah, as I was looking at jobs at the gym, I’ve decided to add a new goal: become a personal trainer. Sounds good! By the end of summer/early fall, it’ll become a reality. I definitely think this is better than my attempt at become a group fitness instructor, which I’m still working on. Mostly that’s hard because I can’t talk while working out at full capacity and I have no musical ear whatsoever.

Not only will the goal help me advance in a gym, it’s the perfect compliment to my future career as a Registered Dietician. Plus, I’m learning all about the body and how it functions so it’ll serve me well too!

Okay, so I’m excited now.

“Just Go With It” was pretty good. My roommate said it got bad reviews, but I laughed the whole way through and barely snuck in my nap. Jennifer Aniston was great and Adam Sandler was okay too. I used to like Monica (Courtney Cox Arquette) more as a character and sometimes the characters become the actor to me. Monica was more like me while Rachel was kind of annoying and ditzy. In this movie, Jen showed her beauty and intelligence. Age has made her better. I don’t know if Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate are about the same age, but I like them more now than before.

(image from flixster)

I watched "Hall Pass" the other day with Christina in it. The movie wasn't very good, but I loved the female leads. :)

(image from movie-area)

I woke up from my nap rather tired.

After the gym, I bought a few supplies. I went local because since I’m moving soon, I’m going to miss all the local products Asheville offers.

Amazing Savings had Roots’ black bean hummus on sale.

West Village Market has an amazing stock of local goodies and they don’t up their prices either like the bigger stores. I’ve wanted apple butter for awhile since my friends had some at their house and I had some on bread. I decided on Crooked Condiments’ Autumn Night Apple Butter.

I would wait until tomorrow for the tailgate, but I wanted some tonight on my Van’s Natural Lite waffle and Greek yogurt.

Before that, I had a Tera’s Whey proceeding workout #2 to hold me over before I showered and made my dinner.

I’ve been doing better about pre- and post- workout meals since I work out quite a bit. I believe they've helped. I'll do some more research and post some articles later. :)

Kick butt Friday circuit and more

I was lucky enough to wake up and go to Sarah’s amazing boot camp class. It’s one of the few classes where I’m a little scared. Nothing is set like it is in the Power (Body Pump like) class. She set up a circuit for us today and I loved it.

This is Sarah when she was trying out for the Orlando Fantasy in the Lingerie Football League.

I warmed up by myself for 25 minutes on the upright bike, sweat dripping into the little crevices on the machine. Gross, but awesome. I cleaned it up.

We started off with legs: squats and lunges.

We did the circuit 2 times for a minute and a half.
  • Plank on a bosu ball
  • Clean & press + overhead presses with a bar – 22.5 lbs which includes the bar
  • Up up down down on step
  • Kettlebell swings – I did 15 lbs alternating arms
  • Ab rollout on stability ball
  • Bicycle crunches – my least favorite
We did a third circuit.
  • Mountain climbers on a bosu ball
  • Bicep curls with the bar – 22.5 lbs
  • Push-ups on the step
  • Alternating kettlebell swings… I was already doing this
  • Ab rollout on stability ball
  • Again, bicycle crunches ☹
I watched “Just Go With It” and napped before I woke up, a little shaky, and hit the gym again.
Workout #2 of the day included a 10 minute mile then some walking.

I was glad to see Ashley teach Turbo. Though the other instructor is my absolute fave, I needed to do another round (in Turbo speak, it’s the routine).

Next up, some yoga. I needed that. The instructor today is relaxing in her tone and her outlook on life. She makes funny noises and says cute things. When I first met her, she reminded me of one of the education profs in college; they even look alike.

What I need...

I'm breaking down. This whole moving thing is stressful emotionally. I'm scared. I have to find a job and I need to find one soon so I can figure it all out... It's a step down in life for now.

My family is sometimes pretty awesome. I got a call from my aunt reassuring me that I have a place to stay and I can settle in before I find a job. My cousin's girlfriend also recommended a few mall jobs for me. I guess mall jobs in SoCal are much different than the mall jobs here though I'm not quite fond of them either way.

I started to apply for a job as a library assistant. I can't tell you how ridiculous the questions were. Even if I were to Google them, I couldn't figure out how to explain all the library programs. For now, I'll have to wait since I only got one of my three letters of recommendations back. :/

So maybe I can focus on other things like a desk I'll need when I get back. I've never had a proper desk. After much searching, I found a few I like on craigslist and some DIY projects for anything I may find there.

I have one of these chairs. It's a bit too neat for me, but I still like it.

(image from craigslist)

I WANT THIS! It's cheap and I can totally remove it from the room it's stuck in. :)

(image from craiglist)

(image from Design Sponge)

(image from Manhattan Nest)

I thought about some Ikea hacking, but I just can't buy their flimsy furniture when I can get something old and sturdy.