Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sleepy Sunday in Irvine

Oh gosh was today LAZY.

I woke up, consumed my first bowl ever of banana overnight oats, went to the grocery store for salmon (on sale!), and fell back asleep.

After my morning nap, I headed to Irvine to Wholesome Choice. I was so glad to have found it. I thought I'd found all the alternative markets (besides the Vietnamese and Mexican ones): Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Mother's, and Henry's or Sprout's.

Wholesome Choice might fit in as an ethnic market though, but it's a non-traditional ethnicity to me: Persian and Indian. *I also love Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese markets because they're cleaner than the usual Asian markets I go to.

For example, they have a big selection of dates, vegetables, and yogurt. They also have a lovely food court where I bought some chicken tikka masala to go with the hot Sangak, a Persian flatbread.

We waited a long time for Sangak, made somewhat like naan in a big oven. Everyone else was waiting for the $2.75 bread so I decided to wait too. What did I have to lose? Nothing. Because it was delicious! Mom went to town on it.

We also went to Assal Pastry nearby for a fruit tart. The tart has dipped in some chocolate for extra deliciousness.

While in Irvine, we like to go to all the Taiwanese/Chinese markets and shops in the area. Mom got her usual red bean bun and I got her some red bean gelato from Mochilato. I got myself a green tea mochi which I didn't realize was ice cream. I thought it was just mochi so it stayed in the car and melted while I went on my 4-mile walk. Oops.

Lazy Sunday ended with a 4-mile walk. I was glad the weather turned around because I was so tired all day that I fell asleep whenever I sat down. Guess that means I need to head to bed... after "CSI." I just turned on the TV and it was on and its been a long long time.

Downtown vs. Old Towne: Old Towne Orange

Old Towne Tustin: magnificent. Lots of places open up early and it's right next to a bunch of strip malls with all their glory - yeah I said it because we need our Trader Joe's and Sprouts.

Downtown Fullerton: BUST. They have a few vintage shops, but I wouldn't go out of my way.

Old Towne Orange: gorgeous. There are a ton of vintage shops though unlike Fullerton, this is not my decade. They're more like antique shops. Yeah, that's the right word. They have a traffic circle in the middle of Old Towne and the shops and adjacent homes pretty much run together nicely.

Actually, I had to walk past some houses converted into stores to get to a popular spot, Bruxie. I got their chicken and waffle and it was delicious. My little cousin ate almost all of it though. :/

We also hit the local mall and Mother's Market out there. It wasn't too bad either. Santa Ana, next to Orange, is rather huge. They have a downtown, a business section, and an artist's village. It was pretty much never-ending and though some parts are pretty down-and-out, there's a little for everyone.

My little cousin with fro-yo from the mall.

I picked up vegan white chocolate, sweet potato, and peanut butter pudding at Mother's! Ridiculous right??!

How are you related to me? Nephew?

In Chinese, we have specific words for older brother and younger brother rather than the general word brother. Younger and older aunts get different names and then it depends on whether it's my dad's sister or mom's sister or if it's an in-law.

It gets harder to remember when I have to figure out what to call my mom's cousin's son's son. Basically, I call my mom's cousin like I would call an aunt (older in this case) and her son is my cousin so I call him brother. His son, in turn, is my nephew.

Which I find weird when I tell people because I don't have any siblings in order to have nieces and nephews...

Anyways, it was my nephew's 2nd birthday. His name is Nicholas and he's adorable. I mean it too because not all kids are cute.

The older kids put him on the treadmill and he was really into walking on it.

BONUS! We went through family photos and I was captured by this. My mom's (fraternal) twin looks HOT! She's on the far right of your screen.

This my uncle's wedding back in Vietnam with a jumble of grandparents, their siblings, uncles, my aunt, and my mother.

My mom is left of the bride, and if you can't tell which that is, my mom has a bow (like her twin on the far right) and a funky short haircut.

Friday, July 29, 2011

So far Friday

Shakeology to start my day.

24 S.E.T., which gets frustrating, but I dealt.

Because I love Turbo. Though lately, I've been kind of out of it.


Ate some salmon and broc with tomato sauce on shirataki noodles.

Cooled down with a mix of honeydew, cantaloupe, and grapes.

Found this awesome breakfast flow chart on The Kitchn.

Now what?

Groceries? Because I'm always eating. I need apples, almond milk, and some chocolate! Oh yeah, I need A piece of bread and some more veggies for actual meals.

Sneak in a nap.

Get frozen yogurt. I've been craving since yesterday and my fruit and Arctic Zero mint choc ice cream has not stopped me from craving some.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ingredrients to make...

Not having my car and thus, supplies, and not having my own kitchen, I've been struggling a little. Its been better for my health though that I don't bake and consume huge amounts of baked goods.

Sometimes my simplest meals are tough though because I don't like using other people's kitchens. Even no-bake goodies are a hassle when I can't find everything I need or feel like I'm making a mess.

Not only do I have the ingredients for these 3 recipes, they're also super easy and delicious. Good thing I started liking oats.

Wait, I don't have almond milk. I need to get on that NOW.

Loca for local food, shopping, events, & sunshine

Morning started late.

I headed to the farmer's market on the Orange County fairgrounds. They're open Thursdays before the fair is open. We bought avocados and peaches.

Next up, we tried some clothes on at Buffalo Exchange at the LAB. It was a disappointment. :/ Thankfully I stopped by for coffee over at The Gypsy Den to keep me going.

The LAB is a place I'd enjoy, but I'm more partial to the CAMP. They're both alternatives to the big box South Coast Plaza, but the CAMP is my earthy and simplicity to the jumble of the LAB.

I love Costa Mesa for its shopping as well as Japanese stores. A grocery store takes up most of the room in the buildings of Mitsuwa and Marukai, but at least Mitsuwa has other little shops and an awesome food court within the store. Japanese food-to-gos have the best fake food displays. I got some T-Toast from Mammoth Bakery in Marukai. It's buttery toast filled with blueberry jam. I had a nibble and saved the rest for my little cousin.

When we finally got home, I had a salmon, avocado, and goat cheese quesadilla. Or as much as a quesadilla as I'll eat.

I took my afternoon nap then I went for a 4+ mile walk around Mile Square Park. They were having a free concert and tons of families came.

I say 4 "plus" because I accidentally walked into the golf course area and had to backtrack to even get out. :/

It was dark by the time I finally finished my walk.

Dinner was salmon and avocado over kale with some green beans. Delish.

I ended it with some kettle corn popcorn.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I have a lot of... salmon.

Adrien Nieto, this season's favorite.

Last season on "MasterChef" I picked a hottie, Sharone Hakman. He had an okay personality. There aren't any hot ones this season so I picked a cutie who has an agreeable personality: Adrien Nieto.

Love the eats of "Eat the Love"

I go onto PB&Co's web site every Tuesday to check out new PB recipes submitted by bloggers. This week was a pairing of PB and lemon by Eat the Love.

The blogger is male, which is always a stand-out trait, Asian, and looks pretty rad.

Furthermore, he has great recipes including Asian-inspired recipes.

Busing it to Downtown Fullerton

The most disgusting place I've ever seen: Valencia in Fullerton.

I took the bus again and headed to Downtown Fullerton. First, the farmer's market on Wednesdays so I got off before I hit downtown. I walked a mile down Valencia and it was the grossest street I've ever seen. No joke. There was a mattress with the covers on thrown on the sidewalk and random tidbits like a book. I was afraid. Strangely, in the midst of it were three "Desperate Housewives" type of homes. They weren't even separate from the other homes and once I passed the three houses, it was back to the same old.

The farmer's market wasn't too shabby. It consisted of maybe 20 vendors. I quickly hightailed it out of there to downtown and still was pretty disappointed. Most of the buildings were dilapidated. It's only the central part of downtown that has much.

I went early so not much was open yet. I found the Tranquil Tea Lounge and loved it so much. The space is modern and well, tranquil and spacey.

They had a $5 special before 11 for tea and a scone. I got the Geisha's Kiss, a green tea with lychee, strawberry pieces, jasmine, and rose petals. For the scone, I went with the passion fruit peach even though Yelpers say white chocolate lavender.

The scone and tea were delicious. I only ate less than half the scone though.

Next door is the Rialto Cafe, which I want to go to next time since I wasn't quite hungry enough for a decadent meal.*

I love that they use Scrabble letters! *Jen Disney wrote a little about it and other places in the area so I'm excited to read more for local finds.

I headed to the Villa del Sol shopping center with its little courtyard and British Grocer.

My last stops were to their vintage shops and Buffalo Exchange. I spent a good amount of time at the latter and bought one shirt while trying on several outfits including a very 70s dress (wish I would've taken a pic).

I also hit up Out of Vogue, which is the main reason I'd made the trek to Fullerton in the first place. So pretty, but no price tags... like I could afford any of it though.

Next time: Rialto Cafe & Pieology

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Old Towne Tustin: lots of walking & some BodyPump

The last time I rode the bus was freshman year in college, about 5 1/2 years ago.

I took the bus again today and found out how close things are and how easy it is to ride a bus. I was definitely the only non-Hispanic person on the bus, which I texted my roommate because it reminded me of him.

I headed out to Old Towne Tustin.

They have separate bike lanes that aren't one the road - then I would bike because I wouldn't be afraid of getting hit. By the way, pedestrians are prohibited.

I didn't have to stop and smell the roses. They kind of just smacked me in the face.

First stop, Cream Pan to see their offerings. I had a half tortilla with 1/3 apple and goat cheese, but I couldn't resist coffee over at Freesoulcaffe, and while I was there, I got their recommended peanut butter torte. Oh my goodness, this was the best thing I ever ate. Maybe. While the coffee was just okay.

What Freesoulcaffe lacked, I found at Kean Coffee. I went to the one in Newport Beach and got their Turkish latte. Here I got their Caffe Napoli and it was amazing - just look at it.

Yeah, I also got a Blackmarket Bakery cinnamon roll to try. I had a couple bites of this one too. This wasn't as good as the PB torte of course, but it wasn't great overall.

I went by a some low carb store called Miss. Bobbie's Low Carb Shoppe & Cafe. They had PB2 but I had no cash for it. Oh well, I still have lots of real PB to consume.

I needed real food so I went by Rutabegorz. They have one in Orange too, but this one is much nicer. The Orange location looks like a house while this one fits right into a historic district. I went at right before 1 P.M. and it was packed!

I got "The Walnut that Kissed the Chicken" sandwich and rode it home on the bus. I had half that sandwich made with squaw bread (I had no idea what it was either). No pasta salad though. You know how I don't eat sandwiches, but Kath Eats always eats them, is in good shape, and makes them look delicious. Hey and guess what, I didn't feel terrible after eating it. My belly isn't protruding out either.

I took a quickie 30 minute relaxing rest/nap before I hit the gym.

My uncle took me over because he insisted. I got there early and perused Whole Foods and the rest of Bella Terra. There had been a power outage so Barnes and Noble and a few other shops were closed. I even had time to try on a couple of Billabong dresses at Huntington Surf and Sport. Now here's the problem with skin-tight dresses for me: I've got the booty and no boobs. Ick. At least my belly looked aiiight...

Today was a great gym day because I was working hard (20 minutes on the stair climber again!)... and the instructor was Terence. It's awesome when an instructor you like compliments you. I was testing out my barbell weight for the clean & press when he looked over and said, "She's the first person who has done it right!" Sadly, I didn't add more weight because I got so distracted by it.

Then after class, he was amazed by how calm I was while doing lunges. Me?! I'm calm when I work out. Who would've thought that I'm ever calm. I guess that's why working out is so important to me.

Sometimes I find I feel best when I focus a lot on BodyPump and yoga and not so much the cardio classes like Turbo Kick despite how much I love it. I think I get too out of control (mind and body wise) when I do Turbo whereas BP and yoga require lots of breathing and calmness. What do you think?

In an ode to Kath Eats today, I bought Icelandic yogurt: Siggi Plain as well as Plain. Funny thing both are made by companies named "skyr" which is the name for this Icelandic yogurt. I'm going to have the Siggi tonight then the tomorrow. I had no idea these were just as protein-packed as Greek yogurt! I'm super excited. To round off my light dinner, I'm throwing in a Vega Sport berry flavor.

...with some granola.

So I got an e-mail saying that my car has been assigned a truck. Woo! I can't wait.

I'm really dark now. It's not even a tan anymore. Always reapply sunscreen.

Chores tonight: laundry and get a trash bag for the bathroom then some "MasterChef."

Killer (yet perfect) Saturday mornings

This past Saturday was a Zumba and boot camp morning. Boot camp was so killer apparently that my whole body was sore. It began with light jogging, walking lunges paired with biceps/front laterals/side laterals, bear crawls, my most dreaded frog jump, and other basketball drill like exercises. After that, we did a circuit without resting of 1 minute burpees, reverse sit-ups, push-ups, and one leg balancing toe touches.

I went by Yogurtland because they teamed up with Sanrio. I got mom some yogurt and had a few bites myself.

We then headed to the SoCo Farmer's Market, which incidentally had their Farm to Truck challenge. There were about 20 trucks there altogether and 10 of the trucks had 60 minutes to grab food from the market then 60 minutes to cook it up. We didn't stay though.

Instead, we explored The South Coast Collection.

It's a bunch of small rental spaces.

Saturday's eats:
1/3 of Blogilates' low carb, low fat pizza

Made this chocolate PB mug cup, but it was uh, overcooked and rubbery. :/