Friday, November 30, 2012

Playing catch-up

I've been M.I.A. this week and for good reason, I've been chatting away with friends in North Carolina and here. I'm extremely excited about my trip in less than 2 weeks!

This is such a great thing too. Anytime I'm away from my computer is good. I, like so many others, am glued to my computer most of the day.

The week went by so quickly, and boy am I glad!

I joined #elf4health and was pair with Run with Jess.

  • Meatless Monday - My favorite vegan quinoa & sweet potato chili was not made, but it would be perfect for this weather! I did however go meatless.
    Send a card Tuesday - I didn't send any cards, but I talked to my friends in Asheville and some here too.
  • Try a new workout Wednesday - I saved this for today. I tried Body Beast Lucky 7. The workout comprises of 7 moves done once each then twice each and so on until you complete sets of 7. Boy was I tired by the end! I could hardly do the last 2 cleans... though my pushups have improved.
  • Meditate Thursday - I spent all of Tuesday night doing this. So much so that I didn't go to bed till 2 A.M.!
  • Eat different colors Friday - I have so many variations of green in my diet. Sadly, I did not document this.
I didn't plan ahead so I wasn't successful. I'll plan for next week. 

WIAW also didn't happen this week so here are a few pictures.

Treat to myself.


iHerb shipment


One last thing:

I want this, except we're out of peanut butter!

Probably the same reason I want this:

If I ever got married, or just had an anniversary party...

Cozy winter morning

Awesome DIYs here

...for that time of the year.

This would be so helpful. For me.
Source: via Julie on Pinterest


Sure it's the weekend, but I'm waking up early for boot camp and work. Time for movie and popcorn before bed.

Have you started decorating for the holidays?
Are you making any of your presents?
If I find some easy DIYs, I'm down to make extra gifts.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where you live/where your heart is

Last night, I could hardly sleep. After a long day, I laid in bed until 2 A.M., thinking. My heart was aching for a place and its people.

I ended up texting my former roommate and talking to him for a total of 3 hours, called and talked to a few friends out there, and... bought a ticket to Asheville, North Carolina. HIGH FIVE!

I thought I left on bad terms. The last year of living in Asheville was a struggle for me. I battled anorexia, exercise bulimia, and a shitty job. Well, as I'm in the process of recovering and have the best job ever, I'm ready to make a positive splash.
Source: via Julie on Pinterest

This is the best time to go too. The holidays in Asheville are gorgeous. I didn't want to go during since my roommate, who will forever and ever be my roommate, will be gone. If I go later, I'll still have to take time off.

Other reasons I'm excited to go:
  • #1: See Yancey!
  • See Drew :) *If I could draw hearts around him, I would.
  • See Kris!
  • Gonzo's 25th birthday
  • Kyle's college graduation
  • Eat real BBQ
  • Visit my alma mater
  • Best Zumba classes ever!
  • TurboKick with one of my favorites
  • Gingerbread houses at the Grove Park Inn
  • Beer
A more definitive list to come!
I already made a list of what to pack since this is a big deal trip.

Next up, lists of what to bring to Asheville and what to bring home.

Can you tell I'm extremely nervous? Lists calm me down.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun, be positive, and just live.

Where's Asheville you ask? Check out going home to roost who just moved back to the mountains of Western North Carolina!

Did you move away for college? I moved across the country and live there for 6 years. The best times I've ever had were there. Often, I miss the area but there was a lack of jobs.
Why are you living where you are? fThe biggest sell for moving back home to California is my job... and to get my finances in order.
Do you keep in touch more with your high school or college friends? I definitely hold my college friends more dear though there is one friend, Peter, whom I've known for a gazillion years.

Monday, November 26, 2012

MIMM: Patchwork Holiday Festival +

Call me crazy. The Patchwork Art & Craft Festival is one of my favorite days of the year. Sure, I spend maybe an hour, but it's a fun experience. 

First stop: food crafters. I sampled tons of delicious toffees, candies, and macarons before going with a blackstrap Betty from my favorite stand-by Blackmarket Bakery. I had to stop myself from eating all of this - ate half, saved half.

I also bought a rather expensive container of Simmering Sugar toffee as a gift.

I looked for Bungalow 360 again. In their spring show, I bought a fun clutch. This time, I rolled with a starfish bag for $10! I forgot to take a picture of it before I wrapped it up for myself... no joke. 

Tons of great clothes and jewelry too. Unfortunately, Janie XY didn't have Buffy the Kettlebell!

Fall in Southern California

I don't know very much about Aida Mollenkamp.

T-shirts about meat

I stopped by the brand new Surfas. They wouldn't allow pictures, but quick run down: there's a little bit of everything but not much of anything. Except cheese and lots of little treats. They also have a cafe with sandwiches, pizza, and salads along with random baked goods. All the employees seemed young and they were well-staffed.

Shout out to my mom. Happy birthday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday wish/bucket list

Seeing Ashley's post, I decided to make my own holiday bucket list and wish list of course.
    Wishlist/shopping list
    I'm done! I decided not to buy presents and just treat myself for the most part. :)
    Christmas presents for myself :) - $62.84
    • Donut pan - $8.61
    • iHerb - $13.98
    • Bungalow 360 purse - $10
    • David's Tea - $30.25 
    Christmas presents for others - $63.89

    Bucket list
    • Learn to can. I was given some awesome jars of preserves from one of my first Foodie Penpals - still have some!
    • Spend the weekend watching movies and vegging out. Um, I might do this all the time.
    • Bake gingerbread cookies or make a house.
    • Read 2 more books. Collapse is on the list and will take me awhile. A Walk in the Woods has been on the backburner for awhile, but I would love to read Gone Girl too.
    • See houses lit up for Christmas. There are some neighborhoods that go all out!
    • Try ice skating. Yep... 
    • Cook from Happy Herbivore! I keep seeing this on my feed and her recipes look amazing.
    Groceries - $32.89
    • Dark choc Speculoos bar - $0.99
    • Soy cheese - $2.99
    • White chocolate chips - $1.99
    • Guac + salsa mix - $1.49
    • Apples - $0.99
    • Kettle corn popcorn - $4.49
    • Trader Joe's whole wheat flatbread - $2.29
    • Pasta sauce - $2.29
    • Chocolate advent calendar (for Catherine) - $0.99
    • Chile-spiced mango (for Chris) - $1.99
    • Power to the Greens - $1.99 
    • Fage 0% - $4.36
    • Soy nog - $2.29
    • Pumpkin - $1.75
    • Blackmarket Bakery cookie - $2.00 
    Other - $27.52
    • Birthday presents for mom & aunt - $27.52
    Gas - $40.00

    Total - $100.41


    Blueberry breakfast pie? and an awesome post about eating habits *I only made half the recipe for myself.

    Protein pancakes

    Makeshift pizzas with chicken, tuna, eggs, or even protein PB & J - I'm thinking Greek yogurt with melted PB & J

    Shrimp spring rolls
    Shirataki noodles with tuna
    Nori power rolls with tuna
    Zucchini pasta with chicken and marinara

    Coconutty sweet potatoes
    Veggies - carrots, zucchini, broccoli
    Salted cashew dark chocolate cupcakes

    Workouts, as planned
    • Monday - TurboKick
    • Tuesday - Athletic training
    • Wednesday - Strength training
    • Thursday - Core, Cardio, & More
    • Friday - BodyPump
    • Saturday - Zumba, yoga
    • Sunday - BodyPump/yoga
    On tap for today

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    It's Ok Thursday: Thanksgiving 2012

    Its Ok Thursdays

    It's okay...
    • to be starving shortly after a late brunch.
    • to want to skip out on Black Friday lines in lieu of online deals. I'm stalking Amazon!
    • to watch "kid" movies all day.
    • that we roasted a chicken instead of a turkey.
    • that I'm spending Thanksgiving with the people I see everyday.  They're the best anyways! One day I want to have a giant family Thanksgiving - I'll have to marry into a more cooperative and large family.
    • to get excited to read. I've ignored reading anything while studying for yesterday's exam.
    • that I will be buying fewer gifts this year. I'm saving money plus I want to buy myself presents. Rant: I am a fantastic present-buyer but in return, get thoughtless gifts. Examples: random and ugly purse and one of those novelty hot chocolate mug sets. :( I'd rather not get anything in return...
    Happy Thanksgiving! My morning started with a packed hour and a half workout "Core, Cardio, and More" class. The class consisted of strength, very similar to BodyPump, and bursts of cardio in between. I've taken the class before but the random cardio moves with free weights were too confusing and thus, less effective.

    Today's class was awesome... till the last 10 minutes of abs. Any class that ends with abs then planks is basically time for me to struggle or pretend to do ab work and lay down in surrender. It's pretty sad to watch...

    I was starved when I came home and made A Dash of Meg's coconut protein pancakes again: 4 egg whites, 1/2 c almond milk, 2 tbsp coconut flour, and baking powder. Total protein = 40g. With some blueberries on top. The portion is huge and takes me roughly 30 minutes to eat while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

    On tap for today:
    • Buy more blueberries
    • Watch one of my Pixar favorites, "Ratatouille," and "The Tooth Fairy." Pixar has so many hits - "Monsters, Inc." is my other favorite - so I was disappointed when I watched "Brave" last night. I couldn't pay attention. 
    • Read! Now that I'm finished with the big exam, I can inhale knowledge!

    • (source)
    Oh yes, the big exam yesterday was 6 hours long! I took parts 1 and 3 first in 3 hours. Part 3, the cultural portion, was laughable. Seriously, I laughed aloud at some of those questions.

    There was no laughing when I took the final exam, part 2. The exam took me 3 hours by itself. Not only was it detailed and I was dead tired, one of the written questions was completely beyond me. None of the study materials I looked at addressed the topic! I came up with the best answer I could and am crossing my fingers.

    My booty and back hurt from sitting for so long and had to sit in an hour's worth of rush hour traffic to get home. I refused to sit until bedtime! I could never ever work a desk job with a computer!

    To stay busy, I made Chocolate Covered Katie's crustless pumpkin pie. Instead of sweetener, I used protein powder. The top and sides crusted up and the pie is absolutely delicious!

    While I rest and relax, my family wants to go Black Friday shopping. Stores open earlier every year! I'll consider tagging along since I have never gone Black Friday shopping.

    Friendly reminder: hydration! Don't forget to hydrate even though it's winter. I consumed all of these while taking the test... and had to pee a lot.

    Finally, I'm thankful for everything, particularly the fact that I have legs. At the gym today, there were TWO paraplegics working out. They are entirely inspiring. I'm also thankful to have this day to rest and enjoy.

    Are you going Black Friday shopping? Where are you going/what are you getting? My family is getting TVs.
    What are you doing on Thanksgiving? In anticipation of the exam yesterday, I forgot to sign up for a turkey trot! I'll have to do one next year. :( I would also like to volunteer at a soup kitchen... so much was on my mind that I pretty much forgot about Thanksgiving!

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    It's time.

    Today is the day. I'll be in a testing room for 420 minutes (+/- restroom breaks and a 45 minute lunch break).

    I like to get it done ASAP but scheduled a later test time to give myself a) enough sleep b) calmness in getting ready for the day and c) a quick workout.

    *On another note, I've used up all my storage space for pictures... time to move on up?

    WIAW: Foodventures

    Almond Joy Protein Pancakes, from Dashing Dish, made with coconut flour I bought on yesterday's late-night (for me, that's 7 P.M.) trip to Long Beach and Lazy Acres.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic 

    I saw pictures of the brand new market and saw one of the employees in the photos. Not that he's famous or anything but it's just weird to see someone in a picture then see them in person. Plus, he was clearly good looking enough that I recognized him.

    The store was a former Bristol Farms but unlike the Bristol Farms near my job, it has a bulk section, interesting sales (20% off a lot), and odd libations.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    I made myself a yummy turkey burger. Just ground turkey mashed together with onions and Sharone Hakman's BBQ sauce (the best!) with goat cheese atop some greens.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The best place(s) to study: on a walk or in the bathroom in the morning when I'm getting ready. I plop the toilet seat down and just start using my phone. I reviewed all the sample questions and felt completely comfortable! I did note a few areas that I need to refresh though.

    Conversely, the worst place to study: any place I have my laptop with me.

    Speaking of walks, I opted for a run instead of a walk last night.

    With the weather getting cooler colder (because I'm a wimp), I ran to the gym to make it there faster. Running is not my forte. In high school, I ran 12 minute miles and though I'm down to 9 minute miles (gotta brag!) thanks to my conditioning, I'm gasping for air and my brain gets bored. All the running also hurts my feet no matter what sneakers I wear.

    I ran one 5K (The Color Run) but no one was really running so it was no big deal. While not studying yesterday, I found The Dirty Girl Mud Run! I never ever want to do a half marathon or full marathon or triathlon - I can't swim - but I'm down for a mud run. Altogether, the run is a 5K with obstacles interspersed. I'll attempt to scale walls and climb through mud and water.

    It reminds me of the Field Day of Awesomeness that I participated in a couple of years ago. I had no idea what was in store for me and I loved it! My body was sore from running up hills and solving math problems.

    Back to last night: Zumba was amazing. I haven't found many great Zumba instructors here - I had such good ones in North Carolina - and I am glad to have found Jamie, who is also a fabulous TurboKick instructor.

    Today's adventure was to Buy 'N Bulk in Lake Forest, where I lived till I was 5. The city has grown in the last 20 years as has the surrounding areas. The homes are in developments, but they have so much character.

    The store itself was a bit disappointing. Lots of gummy candies but no sour treats. Their dried fruit selection was small yet a whole side was devoted to mixes for pizza crust, soups, etcetera. Not up my alley.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Then it was time to review and get rest. It's only 8 but I'm exhausted and in bed already...

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    MIMM: Leisure

    It's officially Thanksgiving week and since we had the week off, I got to sleep in till 8 and toss and turn till 8:30.

    All I had on my mind were oatmeal protein pancakes (How long have I been eating these? At least 4xs/week since September!) slathered with 1/2 a container of au naturel applesauce.

    I finished it off with lots of green tea before walking to the gym.

    I never ever get to go to PiYo so was glad to get in a sweaty workout without jumping around - that'll happen later when I walk to the gym again for Zumba. :)

    On the way home, I used my phone to study and was pretty happy with myself - I was able to answer all of the review questions.

    I'm still worried about the application questions... I will go over them on my walk later today.

    When I got home, I was starved. Walking always makes me hungrier. My cousin was hungry too so I ordered us a small Mexican pizza (without sour cream) from zpizza. It was pretty expensive considering the size and that they have a lunch special of 2 slices + a drink for $5. But, we wanted the Mexican and wheat crust.

    I ate 1.5 small slices, omitting the bread and cheese from parts of it for the dogs, atop greens. My little cousin ate the remaining 4 slices!

    Other eats, usually at night:

    Gingerbread cookie protein shake

    Single serving 2-minute chocolate cake

    Mid-afternoon Only 8 frozen yogurt

    Something to read. For free!

    Some runs to consider, especially the first one!