Friday, September 30, 2011

This is my life... and I'm going to eat.

There are certain things I get obsessed with... like my recent love of donuts... and this morning's half a jalapeno ham and cheese croissant. Okay, it was really like the filling that I ate and barely any of the croissant. :)

The croissant was courtesy of Kelly's Donuts and Burgers in Huntington Beach. No picture cause, well, I ate that thing in the car. It's all good though cause...

Because I was so adamant about a croissant, I ended up doing Bob Harper's Cardio Rev Conditioning at home. It's my toughest video workout.

Sleep was not bueno last night. I woke up at 5ish, 6ish, and finally at 7, when I wanted to wake up. But there will be no nap: interview after work today. More about that later. :)

Off to work!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Learning in progress

It's Hump Day and I'm excited because after dinner (Blogilates pho recipe again), I'm heading to Ikea to check out some digs. I haven't been there at all since I've come back. Despite some of its less than sturdy furniture, there are things that aren't shabby. Though I'm going to be craigslisting the heck out of Orange County for some good stuff.

Why, you ask? Our home selling in North Carolina means we're getting something here. It'll be in a less than ideal location because of the price difference in California. Duh. But we figured if we don't buy, we won't ever have such funding again. It's not mine per se, but as an only child, it eventually will be.

Unlike the bad choices I made with our last house, at 18!, I've come a long way now and know a bit more about quality. Since we're in the market for something cheaper, mom has to settle on an older house which is my preference anyways. :) We'll also plan and do without while we save and look for pieces we want... instead of buying pieces right away.

More about all this later when it more or less materializes, but a girl can dream for now AND go to Ikea.

Back to reality, I woke up later today due to all the house searching last night. I made a protein-packed pumpkin breakfast cookie this morning. Kind of. It was gooey but still good.

I rode my bike to work - 3 miles. The ride was tough due to the wind and a tad bit of drizzle. Work was awesome as usual. I have to print a picture of a muskrat to prove they exist.

And I'm going to check out books on mountains. The kids learned about it today and I am fascinated. :) The Rockies last summer:

The bike ride home was nice. More leisurely, warmer, and less windy. :)

One last thing: new to me almond milk for pumpkin spice lattes at home and a Diet Hansen's tangerine lime soda. I like both. The price for the milk is cheap especially since it's organic. Though the diet soda is made from Splenda, I got it because Zevia is so carbonated.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Upscale people's bites, maybe

South Orange County has become quite nice. The first 4-5 years of my life was spent there till we moved to the bustling middle. Now I wish we hadn't moved as this area becomes congested and the sparser areas now have more development.

I made a trip to check out Krazy Eddie's Donuts in Laguna Hills. By the time I got there, there weren't many donuts left. Lots of bagels. This is a jalapeno bagel with tomato basil cream cheese. The couple bites I took were not amazing. :(

Frostings Cupcakes was down the road so I stopped by for cookies and cream. Awesome cupcake: moist and filled with cookies and cream down to the core.

When I actually ate, I stopped by Mother's Market for a slice of organic and whole wheat pizza. Delicious.

For dessert, yogurt from Active Culture. Since I had bites of the cupcake earlier, I went with less. The view was gorgeous.

I ended up walking around downtown Laguna Beach for about an hour, discovering the quirky shops and cafes.

My second cupcake of the day was from Casey's Cupcakes. I was excited for a peanut butter filled one, but it was rather disappointing. The cake was dry and the frosting was a PB buttercream that was less peanut buttery and more buttery. :(

My last stop was on the way home as I drove up Pacific Coast Highway: Seaside Bakery in Newport Beach. I tried to go awhile back, but it was PACKED. I went for a jalapeno croissant with ham and cheese. The lady warmed it up and I ate half before finally heading home.

Good food. Though, I need a weekend job to take my mind off food. I mean, I did drive down there and never do. :( I paid for it the next day though.

Taking back my weekends

Weekends are so tough with the good eating. My goal is to find a job on the weekends to preoccupy myself from seeking out food because once again, I did it this last weekend. There was some good food that left me feeling really bad this morning. Thankfully, I feel better now.

Monday, September 26

brunch - Shakeology
morning snack - 1/2 serving cinnamon Puffins
afternoon snack - spinach, 1/3 canned chicken, goat cheese, mango salsa, 5 almonds
dinner - 1/2 pumpkin pie bar :), Blogilates pho w/ mussels
late snack - apple, Fage 0%
workout - 9AM TurboKick
to dos - work, cancel gas/electricity, watch "Something Borrowed"
read - Joy Luck Club to p. 197

Tuesday, September 27
brunch - Shakeology
morning snack - spinach, 1/3 canned chicken, goat cheese, mango salsa
afternoon snack - Yoshinoya chicken
dinner - 1/2 c. Fage 0%, Puffins
late snack - apple
workout - 8:30 24SET
to dos - work
read - Joy Luck Club to finish if possible

Wednesday, September 28
brunch - pumpkin pie breakfast cookie
afternoon snack - 1/2 pumpkin pie bar
dinner - Blogilates pho w/ mussels
late snack - apple
workout - bike to and from work, 20 minute yoga
to dos - work
read - Joy Luck Club to finish

Thursday, September 29
brunch - pumpkin pie breakfast cookie
afternoon snack - Puffins
dinner - chicken salad
late snack - apple, Reese's creamy PB :)
workout - 8 BodyPump
to dos - work, cancel water
read - Nine Rooms

Friday, September 30
brunch - 1/2 jalapeno ham & cheese croissant
afternoon snack - Shakeology
dinner - Blogilates pho w/ chicken
late snack - apple, tad bit of fro-yo
workout - 8:30 Bob Harper's Cardio Rev Conditioning
to dos - work
read - Nine Rooms

Saturday, October 1
brunch - dim sum: 2 shu mai, 2 shrimp dumplings, 1 pineapple bun, 1 BBQ bun :)
afternoon snack -
dinner -
late snack - apple
workout - Rest?
read - Nine Rooms

Sunday, October 2
brunch - cinnamon fruit filled omelet
afternoon snack -
dinner -
late snack -
workout -
read - Nine Rooms

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Balanced with salads

After a long time at the family gathering, I ended up eating mostly the stuff we brought: cabbage with shrimp and chicken. I also tried some noodles that ended giving me a stomach ache. No eating food that we don't make anymore - they definitely got it from a restaurant.

I ventured out for a sweet treat, donuts at The Donuttery. Of course, I only nibbled on the top. I went big though and got a red velvet with cream cheese frosting that was actually ruined by the frosting. The other one is an apple one that lacked apple flavor. Sad. :( Actually, both were quite good but not by my standards for THEM.

My other stop was the Farmer's Harvest in search of beer! I nabbed a few more pumpkin beers tonight: Buffalo Bill's Brewery America's Original Pumpkin Ale, Unita Brewing Co's Punk'n, and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Yes, in my cup holder - illegal!

Reviews are up at BeerAdvocate.

The Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale I tried yesterday got a C+. My rating: D, for not tasting like pumpkin.

Buffalo Bill's garnered a C, Unita got a C+, and Dogfish scored highest with a B+.

Dinner is leftover cabbage with shrimp and chicken. To finish it off, I'm trying the Indian Wells Brewing Co. Spicy Pumpkin Ale.

It's lighter and smells a little more like pumpkin. However, BeerAdvocate only gave it a D. I'm giving it a higher rating though, like a solid B.

Trying an easy living

I was pretty excited to head to the gym today and not be restrained by a class today. I woke up early because it was loud in the house then headed over there, forgetting breakfast. I planned to ride my bike, but I'm afraid of any drizzle that continued to be a drizzle even after I finished up.

I compacted my workout today: 20 minutes on the bike at a vigorous pace and then Blogilates/Cassey's sample workout. Half of it. I am in awe that she's so strong. I am not. I can do 5-10 lbs less on everything though and that's starting off. I could only do half, but I really enjoyed the squats and shoulder press (first one) and the last one, the clean and press.

I showered and made myself an effortless, no mess breakfast: 1/2 c. Fage 0%, cinnamon Puffins!, and a little Barney butter! Yum.

The kitchen is ridic and was loud this morning because we're having a family gathering and thus, food. I'm going in a little while but couldn't figure out what else to do before. The gloom is making me not want to go outdoors and to farmer's markets. So it's easy living over here especially with everything in place now. :)
  • Read Joy Luck Club
  • Go to bank?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pumpkin beer & baking

Whole Foods grocery haul! I used my LivingSocial deal. I finally got Puffins! They were plain but very good. Also, one of my favorites: Barney Butter! Since I had a few more dollars left: Siggi's peach.

It was too hard to find enough things, but luckily, I was able to buy alcohol: Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Indian Wells Company Spicy Pumpkin Ale. Mom and I tasted the Blue Moon and though she liked it, I did not find any hint of pumpkin and it was a little darker than their usual beers. I had a swig and thankfully, she drank most of it.
We finally tried Goldfish Flavor Blasted Grahams vanilla cupcakes.

With the organic pumpkin, my cousin Cat and I made Joy the Baker's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and Hungry Girl's perfect pumpkin bread. Half of each recipe. Both were delish. We're taking them to a family function tomorrow because I don't want to overindulge... which I have already! :/

New season, new start

As I'm reading The Joy Luck Club, I also picked up The Nine Rooms of Happiness and am super excited to get at it. Because, do I need it!

Happy first day of fall! It's going well so far. I think it may be my favorite season especially with pumpkins! :) You're going to hear soooo much about pumpkins!

My knees and body have been a bother lately. I can barely do anything in my classes for some reason - fatigue, sluggishness, et al. So my plan was to give it a rest (yesterday) and do something a little lighter this AM ("Slim in 6" Burn It Up).

I didn't get a ton of sleep last night, but actually, that did me better than sleeping 8-9 hours last night.

I even ate a whole Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Pizza Primavera for dinner yesterday. Me? Yeah!

Last night, I stayed up watching the last episodes of "Lives of Omission." I just had to.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Other hobbies, like reading

I've been a little busy lately, which is good. 4 hours at the school require a little bit more scheduling than my usual days of nothingness.

I'm proud to say I have continued to spend $0 this week except on gas, which I kind of need right now actually. Eek, I almost forgot.

I've caught up on my bills. Yay and well, not so awesome because that means I'm a little more broke than before, but it's a good thing to get things paid and to be working on them. :)

Oh yes, let's talk books since there's not much food going on in my life except I've been consuming apples like no one's business and these salads made with cabbage, some other veggies, chicken, and fish sauce. Yeah, that's right - fish sauce. I tried Brodard Restaurant's chicken salad but it is too expensive for what it is at $11. So we made our own and it feeds our whole family.

BIGGER THAN MY FACE. I ate it again for dinner tonight and it's definitely on the menu tomorrow! :)

I finished Room, which was fantastic. It's a short read and took me in from the beginning. The story is bizarre. Sometimes I got annoyed by the narrator, the little boy, for not wanting to help escape though it's understandable. I never thought the plan would actually work! A good chunk, about 1/4 of the story, discusses life after getting out of Room. It was a sad story to say the least and I'm hoping to read something happier.

So far, in September, I've polished off 3 books. Okay, it's a cheat since I found out I had already read a chunk of book #1.

I've started my 4th book. I picked The Joy Luck Club though it's not much happier. The last few biographical comedies I've read have been subpar, including American Thighs. Maybe I need to get my hands on some David Sedaris.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Dollars spent today: $0. Success.

I have so many things to pay off as of late that it's necessary for me to spend as little daily. I won't stress on those things if I can spent zip daily.

Everything's going swimmingly and it's pretty easy so I think I can handle something on the weekend.

Since my hours are a bit odd, I have to eat a brunch. It involves spinach and tomatoes, goat cheese, Boar's Head turkey, 2 egg whites, and half a whole wheat sandwich roll.

Dinner was Blogilates' pho with mussels.

I finished Room and have a new book. I chose a book from my goodreads list and I'll reveal it soon enough.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cut out the dough(nuts)

Lots of donuts have been partially consumed. I'm craving them!

How can I resist peanut butter filled donuts and pumpkin spice and even better, red velvet. Mmm. Okay, the weekend is over and the goal is to be healthier than yesterday so let's give it another try. Cutting down on sweets is so hard, but I can do it. Plus, all this eating of sweets is such a waste of money. I need to find other hobbies besides seeking out the best donutteries, etcetera and still be able to go out.

The Donuttery's red velvet & pumpkin

I ate "my favorite" sandwich from A Market yesterday while on PCH. It was super good with the pear and ginger jam. Mm.

I intended, for example, to ride my bike at the beach but that involves getting the bike to the beach, which is a drag and also it costs $ to get a parking spot. Ugh, it's time to make hourly schedules to avoid such... again.

Mon, Sept 19
brunch - 1/2 romato tomato, goat cheese, Boar's Head Salsalito turkey, 2 egg whites, spinach, 1/2 sandwich roll
snack - Shakeology
dinner - Blogilates pho w/ mussels
snack - apple with PB
workouts - 30 Day Shred 2, 20 mins biking, hip hop

Tues, Sept 20
brunch - 1/2 romato tomato, goat cheese, Boar's Head Salsalito turkey, 2 egg whites, spinach, bread product
snack - Shakeology
dinner - mussels
snack - 1/2 c. Chobani w/ a fig
workouts - 8:30 24SET, 4:30 BP, 5:30 TKB

Wed, Sept 21
brunch - 1/2 romato tomato, goat cheese, Boar's Head Salsalito turkey, 2 egg whites, spinach, bread product
snack - Shakeology
dinner - mussels
snack - 1/2 c. Fage 0% w/ a fig
workouts - 8:30 yoga, 5:30 hip hop Hustle

Thurs, Sept 22
brunch -
snack -
dinner -
snack -
workouts - 5:30 BP, 6:30 TKB

Fri, Sept 23
brunch -
snack -
dinner -
snack -
workouts - 24SET, TKB

Sat, Sept 24
brunch -
snack -
dinner -
snack -
workouts -

Sun, Sept 25
brunch -
snack -
dinner -
snack -
workouts -

Friday, September 16, 2011

Falling into place/pieces

I worked almost five hours today though my shift is only four per day. It was the first day and I was pretty much thrown in there.

I worked with students on an essay on their favorite season in one period. All of them chose summer or winter. I love them all, but the one that shocks me is fall.

See, when it's spring and turns into summer, the weather doesn't change a whole lot.

When it's fall and becomes winter, I'm a tad cold. I love the big holiday season, but it got rough these last two winters in N.C.

I'm happy it's spring after rough winters, but springs lasts so long.

However, fall brings in a new school year and being the forever student that I am, it's still relevant. The early fall air is also so pleasant and leaves start turning. Halloween is also such a fun holiday. :)

I did some mail while the students had lunch and went off to help students as they took a science test.

I came home, had the same lunch as yesterday, and napped. I felt so tired from 45 minutes of nap that I ended up just chilling tonight. Yeah, I'm going to have to get it together but I woke up super early this morning to get my TB test looked at so I was extra tired.

In addition, I went by Taste of India and had a huge meal, which wasn't so big after I shared it with my cousin. The meal was super cheap and I got chicken Tandoori, a salad with yogurt sauce, garlic naan (at no extra cost!), and rice. I laid off the rice and ate a bit of naan. I had to order samosas on the side as they were fresh to order. They have steam trays with samosas, but those are only for show. Awesome righhhttt??!

To top it all off, my cousin and I shared some Yogurtland yogurt with their new flavors: PB&J (awesome), oatmeal cookie (very good also), and blueberry lime/lemon mint (I don't like fruit very much).

Guess what came in the mail yesterday? Mmm. The Cville Cluster Granola is awesome - big chunks. Not so much in Groovy Granola but still good.

I had a coupon for $1 off MaraNatha and found their brand spankin' new sunflower seed butter with a hint of sea salt. It's totally like their PB with sea salt rather, au naturel where oil and nuts separate. There aren't seeds like Sunbutter and doesn't have the smoothness and taste of Trader Joe's. So far, not a fan - there's just no distinct sunflower seed taste. Strange.

I'm going to read some Room since I'm a tad behind and then head to bed so I can wake up early and get my workouts done! Must redeem myself ya know.

Good thing x 2

Not only am I finally employed, I got a Missoni from Target bag to go with my new job.

I knew about it but didn't realize it was such a big deal.

I have enough bags. But mom insisted on a new big girl bag for my big girl job.

She bought it for me.

From my cousin. He works at Target and nabbed a few for his other cousin who will likely resell them.

But one of them became mine. :)

Back to school

They really rushed me in. In about 15 minutes, I'm heading out the door.

Breakfast: Yogi blueberry slim green tea and a 1/2 cup of Chobani 0% with a fig & honey in a measuring cup.

Last night we looked for clothes. I didn't go out and buy anything but went through my mom and aunt's closets. I'm working on toning up so I don't want to buy too much. They have some okay stuff from back in the day that they don't wear anymore. They also have clothing from younger family members.

Stretching this AM. :)

Attempt to take a full-body picture didn't work on my Mac. It was too quick for me.

iPhone worked a lot better. In the bathroom. I'd crop but I have to get going!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bowl and bread

Some days, I just want to sit around and do nothing. It rarely happens. I always want to be out.

My AM started with a beet and carrot juice in a bowl. With a straw. :)

Then I made half a sandwich with egg whites, goat cheese, avocado, and some kind of spicy ketchup in a container from some to-go place my family went to.

I made another half sandwich with egg whites and pumpkin + Tofutti cream cheese.

I ate half of each for a nice half a sandwich on Great Harvest's Dakota bread. So good I had it for dinner too.

We have so much bread. I hoard it like crazy. We have a half loaf of Great Harvest Dakota bread from last Thursday, 3/4 loaf of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin, and two bags of whole wheat sandwich rolls and bagels I bought when I thought I'd be sharing my bread. The goal is to get it eaten so I've been upping my carb intake to at least 1 slice of Dakota per day for a week now.

Maybe I'll muster up some energy to get dressed and go to the farmer's market (see - I'm not even up for that!) and then to Costco for some items (usually just eating the samples).

Try and learn

I was also ecstatic to get Trader Joe's sunflower seed butter and test out Walden Farms' chocolate syrup that I made a list of other things I want to try in terms of food soon:
I also need to learn, a lot:
  • Save money at the grocery store via couponing
  • Change banks and start getting serious about $
  • Take the CTEL
  • Get add-ons
  • Finish paying NC bills and have them paid for
  • Eat out only once per week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not so healthy can be healthy.

$1 cinnamon French toast non-fat coffee from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf yday. One of the reasons I love fall.

Julie goes not-so-healthy.

I began my day with an interview.

I got an e-mail. Hate e-mails because they're bad news. It made me upset.

Eat a doughnut quarter from Sweet O' Donuts. Very doughy. Loved that. Stressed.

x 2. Or well, I ate all the peanut butter from inside the doughnut from Adams Avenue Donuts.

I tried to take a nap.

I got a call.

Went to the district office right away.

Get a TB skin test.

LiveScan so they know I'm not sketchy.

Turn in forms. Go to payroll. Take an ID photo.

Be employed.

Don't go to the gym. Try to be okay with it.

Eat Green Rice Kabob. Surprisingly fancy and clean despite its location in an old strip mall filled with Mexican and Chinese to-gos. Boneless chicken with a big salad instead of rice. I got my cousin the beef koobideh. Both were awesome, but the beef was much better.

Make some Vietnamese pandan bready dessert with my aunt.

Did not eat much today. I was mostly stressed in the AM and ecstatic in the PM when I learned I got the job I interviewed for TODAY just two hours after my interview.

No, I didn't get the job at the half Hispanic school where I was supposed to attend but my parents wanted me to go to a better school. I didn't get the job at the... um, white/Asian rich/poor school, respectively. I hadn't heard from the primarily Asian school and I didn't expect to hear from the continuation high school yet.

I doubt I'll hear from any of them since HR calls us and knows I'm now employed by one of the top schools in the district (the other being my former high school). They're sometimes ranked higher even. It looks exactly like my alma mater. Good test scores, well-off community, and a very large special education program (thumbs up for working at the best). My cousin goes there (and is in the program), which I failed to mention because really, it doesn't matter. So wow, maybe I'm not fit for these other schools, but I fit in at this school? :)

The only thing is that it probably is the farthest from my home base - about 20 minutes at most.