Friday, November 29, 2013

Five Things Friday: Too stuffed to sleep.

It's almost midnight and I'm stuffed and digesting my food. I refuse to sleep with a full belly.

My day started with hunger pangs. I was hungry the night before, but ignored it and just went to bed. I woke up, made another pumpkin mug cake, and watched all 3 hours of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Swoon... Taylor Kinney.

I finally got in a workout. So many people posted workouts on Instagram. I used their ideas for a warm-up then did a weight/barre workout and stretched it out. Next year, I'm doing the Dana Point Turkey Trot, which apparently is one of the biggest! Who knew?!

All the Thanksgiving pictures warmed my heart and reminded me that it's the holidays! Well, I ended up caving in to my craving for cornbread...
  Five loaf breads (I made or will make)

1. I finally found a recipe I could work with: Whole Grain Honey Cornbread. I made 2 load pans worth and definitely nibbled on some with honey butter while I kept baking.

2. My second loaf was Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread, which was much denser. Not sure how much I like it.

3. My last quick bread is a favorite, Orangette's Banana Bread with Cinnamon & Sugar. I post all my favorites under Food on the tabs.

I actually ended up using Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix for the flour after looking at the ingredients. I just didn't add any more baking soda/powder.

4. Ginger tea bread from the former owners of Bake It Pretty, an online shop that became brick & mortar in Asheville. It was such a coincidence - I loved this shop. This bread is more like gingerbread.

5. Eggnog pound cake

I didn't get a chance to eat any of it though (except aforementioned cornbread). What turned out to be a quiet Thanksgiving ended up with a dinner complete with turkey, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mac & cheese, cold cuts, creme brûlée, Sprinkles cupcakes, wine, beer & whiskey. Oh and bacon in everything!

Five things I ate for Thanksgiving dinner

1. Turkey

2. Green beans (not casserole)

3. Brussel sprouts with bacon

4. Creme brulee mini

5. Fat Tire beer

My cousin worked for the ABC. That's a kegerator and cabinet full of wine and liquor...

I'm not one to do cheat days but if there ever was one, this is it! 

Five things I didn't eat on Thanksgiving

1. Sprinkles cupcakes, though I was given the whole box because we didn't eat them. I'm handing them out. :)

2. Mac & cheese... I love mac & cheese, but white pasta wasn't going to do.

3. Mashed potatoes with bacon

4. Green bean casserole, which is cool since it's my least favorite of the side dishes.

5. Sweet potatoes! How did this happen?! There were no sweet potatoes on the table!

Five things to get in the holiday spirit

1. Go ice skating.

2. Walk in a neighborhood with lots of Christmas lights and sip hot chocolate (or tea).

3. Make a gingerbread house.

4. Listen to Christmas music on the radio and live!

5. Drink Highlight Brewing's Cold Mountain Ale. Wait, I can't do that. They don't sell that here, but if you're lucky enough, you should try it.

What did you eat yesterday? What did you avoid?
Are you going Black Friday shopping? I'm not!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving

I'm sure everyone is doing a Thankful Thursday post for Thanksgiving.

We don't celebrate much here, but I'm going to a Friendsgiving on Saturday so I'll get my turkey and fixins' then.

I'm thankful for...
  • Health. I stress healthy eating and exercise all the time. I have convince myself it's not for aesthetics. I'm already healthy. I can run, hike, lift, and I have no ailments or deficiencies!
  • Having enough. I still have student debts and I'm incurring more by going back to school, but my day-to-day life is not marred by them. I'm fortunate to have work too, even if it's sporadic.
  • Mom. Our relationship has always been rocky, but we are working through it. I'm growing up too and learning that in the end, she's really all I have.

  • Friends, the long lasting ones. Even after years of not seeing them or talking to them, we can pick up where we left off.

  • My car. Mollie said this, and I'm thankful everyday for a car. 
  • My phone. Sure, I just lost it, but it made me realize how thankful I am to have an iPhone and how thankful I am to be able to get a new one within 2 days. Interestingly enough, I was able to go without for a day and it was okay.
  • Food choices. I get to choose my food. I get to buy and make what I feel like eating.

    Today's lunch: open-faced salmon sandwich & some of this gluten-free mac & cheese from green2go. Not bad but not great.

  • Warm weather. I miss the snow and even getting snowed in with friends, but I don't mind not driving in the snow or the possibility of losing electricity.
  • Where I live. It's not a big deal. I could live anywhere, but I like having things so close by. There's a lack of nature, but I can drive less than an hour to some parks and forget I'm in the suburbs. I can also drive to L.A. and San Diego for day trips. As for everywhere else I'd rather live, I can visit. :)

    Today's adventure: Carbon Canyon in Brea.

    A short 1 mile hike there to see the only Coastal Redwoods in the area.


    I spent a good 45 minutes taking pictures...

    ...and relaxing among the trees. There was so much space between them!
After my afternoon siesta, I went for a walk and ended up at TJ Maxx nearby. I love sweets, but I cannot stand sweet scents. I loved this quirky candle:

I had chicken chili for breakfast and dinner - so many leftovers - but I made myself a pumpkin mug cake for dessert. This is essentially my pumpkin oatmeal protein pancake with less stress to keep it in pancake shape and much faster too. :)

Pumpkin mug cake

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp oat flour
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • pumpkin pie spice, as needed
  • baking powder, as needed
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • stevia, to taste
Put all cake ingredients in a mug and beat with fork. Microwave 1:30-2 minutes on medium. Let cool while making frosting. Flip over mug, cut cake like you would an English muffin and spread with frosting. Eat.

I'm bound to have this today too!

How are you staying active on Thanksgiving? I'm heading to yoga in the morning, or doing something at home if I want to watch the Macy's Day Parade.
What food item are you in charge of?
What else will you be doing? Football perhaps? No football here, but I will be watching "Catching Fire."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WIAW: Is it really fall?

My cold feet and taste buds think it's fall, but when I look outside, the blue skies make me yearn for fresh seafood (ceviche the other night, seared tuna Tuesday).

The last few days, I've made Blogilates' carrot cake in a mug for dessert or even breakfast. I subbed almond flour for 1/2 almond, 1/2 oat flour or all oat flour.

My aunt bought me a new pan. I use the same one over and over again!

So I used it and a pot to make some chicken chili over oven baked sweet potatoes!

The 99 cent store carries the Milka brand of chocolate, a perfect sweet treat.

The weather here is still good, abet a little cold considering the blue skies. My friend Vanessa and I had lunch at The Cliff Restaurant in Laguna Beach. The restaurant overlooks the ocean. I got the blackened yellowfin tuna - nothing special but not bad either.

Afterwards, we went to Victoria Beach, a secluded portion of Laguna Beach.

I snuck a photo of a cute couple. See them?

There was a little tower (like part of a castle) and someone's private entrance to the beach.

Wouldn't it be nice to live here?

Sky on fire.

Took the easy route and microwaved it. Not bad.

We also both looked at this sign and noticed that's not right...

What's the weather like where you are?
What are your favorite fall foods?

Throwback Tuesday

 First, let me share this awesome video:

I never get to watch Bethenny's show live, but I always catch clips on YouTube. So, you can predict that I'm listening to the NSYNC station and taking dance breaks (SERIOUSLY) while doing homework. I had full intent to make a dance video but my PhotoBooth wasn't working??!!

Anyways, I just got back from Step & Strength, a class that is mostly step with weight intervals in between. She targeted shoulders today and well, that's not an area of concern for me except to minimize pain.

Speaking of that, I read this post on body-weight exercises you're doing wrong, and am totally guilty!

I replaced my lost phone yesterday by contacting a seller on Craigslist. I'm a bit hesitant to do such, but it's much cheaper than going to the carrier - I finally upgraded my phone in August after losing it this summer. Bummer. I've only lost my phone twice and both times were this year! I guess I'm becoming less responsible as an adult.

I snagged a cheap cover from Marshall's.

The weather here is pretty good so I'm going out to a late lunch and then the beach with a friend.

Have you ever bought something off Craigslist? What was it?
Any ideas for a side dish to bring to Friendsgiving?
Were you an NSYNC or Backstreet Boys fan? I was a big Backstreets Boy fan back in the day.
What's your favorite song from either or both? Mine are: Britney's "Crazy," NSYNC's "Tearin' Up My Heart," Backstreet Boys' "Quit Playin' Games"/"As Long As You Love Me," & Christina's "What A Girl Wants.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

MIMM: Almost too marvelous

Let's get it out of the way, I lost my phone, and that is NOT MARVELOUS. There was no reason to lose it either - I wasn't under the influence, I just lost it getting out of the car and to the parking meter.

At least the evening was MARVELOUS.

We started with a MARVELOUS Duffy boat ride in the Newport Harbor, swinging by mult-million dollar homes and the Balboa Peninsula... while drinking champagne.

The lowdown on Duffy boats: So you rent the boat for an hour or more, you are on your own with driving, and you can bring drinks with you. We were all bundled up but it wasn't too terribly cold. Each of us only paid $10. Too bad not everything was lit up yet for the holidays...

Our next stop was at one of my favorite restaurants, the MARVELOUS SOL Cocina. I got the hot & raw tropical ceviche again, and a grande organic slim margarita. :) They make the best margaritas ever!

I also picked a spot next to two MARVELOUS and cute guys.

Finally, we went to downtown Huntington Beach where I lost my phone. I thought it was just in the car but probably fell out of my bag on the way to the bar.

Everything was packed so we went to the least packed, BJ's Brewhouse, for some beers. I chose a taster of 4 beers, not realizing that they had 5 ounce pours.

And in the end, it was MARVELOUS because I snagged 2 numbers (friend's friends) [on paper] and was asked by a third person to make bath salts with them. Huh... it's very innocent - they're into alternative medicines.

We talked about Enrique, but I fell in love with this brother at a Macy's Day Parade.

My music tastes have really changed...

I've been craving MARVELOUS carrot cake. This is perfect... I just need some cream cheese.

Okay, since we're talking food... I agree with the guy. Sorry.

What are your thoughts on the video?
What's one of your favorite desserts?

Favorites from Trader Joe's

I interrupt my studying for a pumpkin amazeball and this post...

I came home, worked out, showered, and ate... all before 6:15. I then proceeded to fall asleep, somewhat, until 9. Since then, I've done homework and read blog posts.

Everybody has this list. It's a list of their favorite items from Trader Joe's.

Staples (kind of boring necessities)
Power to the Greens doesn't wilt as fast a plain old spinach.

Turkey bacon
Spicy jalapeno chicken sausage - The only problem is it goes bad quick and eating one per day just doesn't cut it.
Whole wheat flatbread - Warmed up in the microwave or heat on a gas stove (with tongs) and it's just bready enough to be pizza dough or to make grilled cheese.
Organic foursome - I can eat these veggies simply boiled.
Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms - The only sauce I buy.
Organic coconut oil

Things I've bought more than once
Pumpkin coconut body butter

Roasted coconut chips - Splurge!
Goat cheese - I stopped buying this because I consume the whole log, just by itself.
Salsa verde is the best base!

Reduced guilt guacamole - I started making my own by mixing avocado with Greek yogurt. Just a fantastic idea.
Almond meal - I always have a bag on hand to do some baking.

Other people's favorites
Pumpkin Cranberry Pita Crisps - My favorite student's favorite - they're hearty.
Cat Cookies - My mother's favorite!

New to me
Sprouted wheat bagels is soft and seedy.
Bacon cheddar ranch dip is your ranch dip with a little bacon flavoring. Something for special occasions only to say it's got bacon and cheddar in it.

Mini gingerbread men - Perfect for my gingerbread cravings... a little spicy of course.
Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl - I bought 2 jars and have not bought any since - it was just too much for me!

What I need to try
Turkey jerky
Lemon chicken & arugula salad

Anything else I need to try?