Sunday, July 31, 2011

7 links

I've been loving this new 7 links trend. I love seeing what people chose for their categories, and I always end up feeling like I get to know the bloggers a little bit more when I see how they personally view their posts. I was hoping that I would be able to participate, so I was really excited when the lovely Tessa tagged me in her 7 links. She has one of the most well thought out blogs I have read. It really makes you think about more serious issues on some days, and leaves you craving delicious cake balls the next. Oh, and her workouts are seriously inspiringly hardcore. Basically, she's really amazing:)
This could not have come at a better time because while I have lots to catch you up on (can you say birthday cake?), I am truly exhausted after a fun weekend.

Most Beautiful
Celebrating San Diego Style-- This post was about my trip down to San Diego to visit Scott and celebrate our anniversary. It was an amazing and really special night. Plus it includes pictures of adorable sea animals. What more could a girl ask for?

Rubbing dolphin bellies:)
Most popular
Hermosa Beach Fair and Other Excursions --This post has the most views excluding my "About" and "Who's that?" page. I had an amazing day, so I'm glad that other people enjoyed this post too:)

Super excited about free samples!
Most controversial
Since my blog is so new, I really feel that I have not covered anything controversial yet. However, I really do not want to leave this area blank, so I picked out one post out for you: It's the little things.
Mainly because I found this tortoise cute while others did not (haha sorry, Connie!)
Maybe because he attacks his food the same way I do?
Yay or nay?

Most Helpful 
The Real Cookie Monster--For all those who don't have time/limitless baking talent and have younger siblings, this post includes the easiest peanut butter cookie recipe in the world. Seriously it has 3 ingredients (so you don't even have to go to the store to pick up stuff) and takes under 20 minutes to make and bake. And the cookies are seriously delicious.

These are cookies that seriously anyone could make and that everyone will love.

Surprise Success
Active Hangout--While I had really great memories of that day, I was surprised it got so many views. My camera had died, so it didn't have any pictures from that day. I was very pleased with how many views and comments it got!

Not Enough Attention
By the Sea Heart--This was in the middle of my trip to Hawaii, and I really liked this post. It talked about me zip lining for the first time, amazing outdoor BBQs, bragged again about my jump off black rock, a 3.1 mile run that I actually enjoyed, and I even revealed my odd obsession with overly cute notebooks.

I still love the post because it documents part of my vacation that I can always look back on.

Most Proud
The Mud Run--This was actually my easiest category to pick. I worked really hard this summer so I could confidently run the Mud Run, and am so proud of myself for following through. I usually make goals that I never actually complete, so this Mud Run was very special for me (especially since it was my first race). I was also very proud of myself for writing this even after I was completely exhausted that night.

5 people I'm tagging:
Hannah @ Sweetly Fresh
Lara @ Simply Irresistible
Sarah @ Parlezvousbetch

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm 19!

Today's my birthday! It was absolutely amazing, and I'll be sure to do a recap/continuation (birthdays last days in my family) of it tomorrow!
Yum. See you later:)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Shake (Dance and Punch) it Off

I was definitely expecting tonight's post to be a negative one. I was having such an icky day that everything was putting me in a bad mood. Luckily for you guys, my day was completely turned around by the end.

But here was the first little bummer of the day:
So a few days ago, my sister and I went to Borders to look around at all the items on sale and to spend my gift card before they officially close. After entertaining ourselves by reading JWoww's new self help book (my love of Jersey Shore is just a tad excessive...Scott and I paid a semi ridiculous amount to go see Pauly D dj in LA as "VIPs"), I stumbled upon an adorable planner. I of course immediately start making grand plans about how I'm going to write all my social plans, football games, birthdays, and everything I need to know in it to become the most organized person this school year. Today, I was going to start on my quest by penciling in my move in date.

After getting super excited over my new planner and thinking about how much it was going to change my life, I realized that despite it's Jul 2011-Aug 2012 description it doesn't start til this December. Therefore, rendering it utterly useless.

It's fine; I clearly wasn't meant to be organized. Or happy.

Waking up and moving presented it's own problem today: I might have done something wrong when I worked out the other day because the outside of thighs (right under my hip) were killingggg me. It only hurts when I get up from my chair, but since I worked today there was a lot of that going on.

Thirdly, I started out eating super healthy today. Apple Cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast; sourdough bread with hummus, scrambled eggs, and watermelon for lunch. (I also had half a pb&j for a snack after).

But the day took a turn when our office was suddenly filled with tons of desserts. So many in fact that we were urged to eat them.
Yes, that is a cookie baked into the brownie. It was delicious.
I have no problem eating desserts. I have a sweet tooth that rivals Willy Wonka (dorkiest thing I have ever said). But there was absolutely no need to eat several of those brownies and the other desserts there. I left work with that gross, I-overdosed-on-sugar-and-now-feel-groggy-and-grumpy attitude. 

To just complete the wonderful mood I was in, I got a major headache near the end of the day that worsened by the time I had gotten home. The headache was a big bummer because my friend Sarah had gotten a free pass for me and my friend Ana to join her at the gym today. We were going to take a turbo kickboxing and a zumba class. I was looking forward to seeming them (and going to those classes) all day. 

A few Tylenols later, I made an executive decision to go with them to the gym, and if I truly felt I couldn't do it then I would just stop. 
I am so glad I went. 
My headache went away a few minutes into the kickboxing class and soon I was jumping around and punching the air enthusiastically and pain free. I haven't been to turbo kickboxing since I had that gym membership last summer, and I forgot how much fun it was. The instructor was incredible (she was insanely energetic and intense), and it felt like such a good workout. 

Sarah, Ana, and I stayed for the Zumba class that followed kickboxing. It was my first time going to a Zumba class, and it was so much fun! Seriously, how have I lived without it for so long? The class was huge (like over 50 people huge) so I was able to get super in to it without feeling stupid. Because what's more fun than salsa dancing and having a room full of people Drop it Low...hands on the floor style hahaha. 
Now I just need a few more classes before I officially become pro Salsa dancer like these guys.... Source

This was a lot longer of a workout then I'm used to, but it completely turned my day around. It felt so good just to get sweaty, and forget about my melodramatic problems with planners and to shake off that sugar coma. 

And now I can't stop smiling:) I got to work today, see my friends, go to classes that I haven't been before, and skype with Scott. I had a really great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Life Begins at the End of your Comfort Zone"

I found that motivational saying I was looking for yesterday.

I usually roll my eyes at little motivational posters, but I really like this one. I really want to try new things and need to realize that not everything I want is going to be easy and comfortable to do. To keep my little revelation short, it was just a nice reminder of how I need to push myself beyond what I usually do if I want to achieve more in the future.

Anyway, today I met up Ali to go for a run. She suggested we walk so we went for about a 50 minute walk around the neighborhood and talked the whole time. Walking is always funner when you're supposed to be running ;) When I got back to my house, I decided to finish with a few more exercises inspired from this.
100 Jumping Jacks
90 Crunches
80 Squats
70 Leg lifts (35 each leg)
60 Jumping jacks
50 Bicycle crunches
40 Squats
30 leg lifts (15 each leg)
20 Jumping jacks
10 Burpees

It was surprisingly hard. I'm so glad I did it though because it left me feeling accomplished with my workout.

My meals today were leftovers or pretty uninspiring (even more than dinner consisted of me snacking on a million things and a pb&j), so we'll just skip over that for tonight. 

I got really lucky and am subbing in for work three times this week! Whee! This is not sarcasm actually. I'm technically unemployed for the summer, so when I get called in to work I get really excited:)

Now I'm going to actually go to bed before midnight so I will be well rested. Night!

Sandwiches in the Sun

Guess who got their iced coffee they were whining pining for?

ME ME ME ME! I splurged on a Starbuck's Carmel Macchiato iced coffee, and I swear I had never tasted something more delicious in my life. I got the smallest size like usual because when I get coffee it's for the taste, not the caffeine. I'm proud to say I have always maintained at least one healthy habit of being completely unrelient on coffee/tea/soda. Which is shocking since I write 90% of these posts at a ridiculous hour at night.

Today was one of those absolutely beautiful days that inspires me to eat outside, enjoy the sunshine, and play with my puppy Roxy (ok so she's actually like 10 years old).  As you could have probably guessed, both breakfast and lunch were eaten outside.

Breakfast was my most recent favorite, an Egg McBagelThin and a nectarine.

Lunch was absolutely delicious. Like amazing. I had a Bagel thin sandwich (yes, my obsession is a problem) with Curry Chicken Salad and avocado slices.
But before I say anything else, can I just point out how many toppings the bagel I pulled out had (one on the right)? Seriously, what the heck?
I mean look how much there was! It's alright I know I'm the only one fascinated by this. 
Anyway, the sandwich was absolutely delicious.
The Curry Chicken Salad sauce was made by mixing a half cup of mayo (which I actually hate but for some reason overcome for my love of tuna and egg salad sandwiches), freshly squeezed lemon juice from half a lemon, and a spoonful of curry powder. 
We had several large chicken breasts leftover so this sauce was more than enough for an entire bowl of chopped chicken. 

I cannot get over how good this was. It wasn't spicy (I'm a wimp), and was just NOM.

The chicken also appeared in my dinner salad along with red peppers and light Caesar dressing.

A few unpictured Trader Joe's organic peanut butter cups were consumed before and after dinner. They were so good, that my Mom was successfully able to bribe Johnny into eating two bites of lettuce. He was not happy.
Johnny I promise it's normal to eat that stuff. I actually like it!
While I had a great day hanging around and playing with my puppy, I'm actually feeling really guilty because I didn't work out like I planned. 
I know puppy you think you're worth it, but I need exercise.
I'm pretty good about not getting weird if I don't work out for a reason (like on Saturday I had friends staying over and then babysat and Sunday was my impromptu visit to Melrose), but when I have a lazy day where I had planned to workout and didn't, I feel like a huge slacker. 

Luckily, Ali comes back to town tomorrow and we are meeting to go for a run. Yes, plans I can actually follow through! 

Until then, does anyone know of any good ways/phrases to motivate yourself? I'm in desperate need until I find a new goal to work for:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm a Nevernude

I truly had an amazing day today. After meeting a friend at Creme de la Crepe for breakfast (I had an unpictured egg, cheese, and bacon crepe), I met up with my friends Sarah and Kaelin to head up to LA to go to the Melrose flea market.

The Melrose flea market is this amazing market that sells tons of vintage and offbeat stuff from a large range of different vendors. I've actually never been shopping at Melrose before (how is it that I've lived around this area so long and never been?), so I was really excited.

It did not disappoint. There were so many cool things and trinkets, and I wanted it all.

Creepiest mannequin ever

This was a really interesting booth that was selling old pictures of random people, places, and things. 

As fun and interesting the shopping booths were, the food options were super disappointing. After an overpriced and mediocre empanada and a falsely advertised mediocre ice cream, I may or may not have had a mini tantrum. I mean the ice cream is only supposed to be $1, not $1.25! It's the principle, I tell you.

 Next time I'm totally just going to go for that iced coffee I've been craving all week.

And just to get another unpictured food mention out of the way, I had leftovers and salad for dinner tonight:)

I did end up getting two things from the fair today: I bought Jessica a gold turtle necklace because her birthday was a few days ago and bought myself a pair of jean shorts. They are adorable, high waisted Levi cutoffs that I love, and only cost $15.
I was actually so excited to show them off, that I put them on under my dress and ran into my room to show Jessica...

...and then she proceeded to call me a Nevernude for wearing jorts under my clothes. Which made it all that much better. Any Arrested Development fans out there? If not, 1) I highly suggest you fix that little problem and 2) watch this to see what I'm referencing

I didn't get in a work out today like I had hoped, but tomorrow is a new week and I'm planning on starting it with a run! Good night!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friends with Desserts

I've had such a busy weekend so far, and it's not even over. Lucky for me, it's been the best type of busy with friends from college staying over Friday night and babysitting tonight. My friends and I also saw Friends with Benefits--it was really funny and Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are a super hot couple (but I still prefer No Strings Attached).
"Yeah, we are."

So a quick rundown of my workouts:
Thursday: I used that free trial and took a Cardio Kickboxing class which I loved. Although I have to admit it didn't live up to the kickboxing class I lived and breathed for last summer from 24 hour fitness. It was essentially the same thing, but it didn't have quite the same energy/fun vibe. Maybe that's because I was able to take it with my best friend all last summer, and on Thursday I was one of the two people under 40. I'm definitely not saying anything about their skills, some of those ladies kicked my butt.
Friday: I woke up super sore on Friday, but I really wanted to use my last day of the trial so I got up early in the morning (the class was only at 9, but stillll) to take pilates for the first time. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was definitely interesting. The instructor was really nice but very touchy. When we were going from plank to downward dog and back she came by to help, and there was definitely butt and boob grazing while she was trying to get me in the right position.
While I could tell that this was not out of place in her class, I've only taken cardio classes like kickboxing or cycling before so it was unusual for me. Maybe that's just a key part of the pilates class?
I decided I did like pilates as a calmer workout, but I probably wouldn't chose it often because I like to get sweaty when I exercise as away to validate it.
Saturday: I didn't have time to work out sadly, but I'm still sore so I would have probably taken a break anyway.

Some food highlights from the past few days:

I've restarted my habit of eating already sweetened oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter. I don't care if it's not the actual healthy stuff, it's delicious (and still counts!).
Apple Cinnamon with a little peanut butter
Dinner with friends before the movie. A quick frozen pizza (that was actually delicious), Caesar salad, and pineapples.

And a ton of homemade brownies. These were just the leftovers...the entire pan (which didn't make the photo) was filled before we made our attack. Topped with the bajillion mini cinnamon rolls we devoured for breakfast the next morning, my friends and I may not have been quite the healthiest snackers.

Oh, and remember how I was craving watermelon? My mom got me some! I truly tired to take a picture that expressed my excitement of finding them in the fridge, but ended up looking a little crazy in love with watermelon. They were delicious, especially since I had just gotten back from the beach. Summer, beach, and watermelon always go together :)
Speaking of happy food discoveries. I opened my fridge today and was in heaven. My mom went grocery shopping and came back with all sorts of goodies to stock the fridge.
Picture lots of hummus, strawberries, watermelon, and greek yogurt. Julia is a very happy girl at the moment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out of the Closet

Not me, my clothes ;)

I got up nice and early this morning to get to Spectrum gym and take my first cycling class. First of all, can I just say how nice that gym is?

Last summer, I was a member of the local 24 Hour Fitness gym because it was the cheapest one, and I was just a high school student. Now, that I'm a college student and have even less money so joining a gym this summer didn't seem worth it...especially when I have such beautiful places to run.

But, if I didn't have to think about the cost of things like gym memberships, I would love Spectrum. Even though I was just there using a 3 day coupon, they were so, so nice. I got a full tour of the place (hmm...maybe I should take advantage of their sauna?), and when I went to wait for the cycling class to start the teacher saw that I was new and introduced herself. I should probably stop clutching the copy of the class schedules. It makes me look like the new kid. She was super sweet, and helped me set everything up when I told her it was my first class.

So I liked the class, but didn't love it. A quarter way through the class (aka 15 minutes in), I started getting all huffy because I thought I preferred running. Is it a tad self destructive that I feel like I worked out more when I run because I put more energy into dreading it? Halfway through I realized that these "hills" are hard and that this workout was intense, and my legs were really tired. After the work, I felt happy and accomplished. I would definitely do a spin class again or several more times, but I'm not head over heels in love.
I finished by quickly playing around with 5 pound dumbbells. I did 40 bicep curls, 10 raising arms to the front and then side (I don't have a name for these), 10 tricep extensions, and 30 seconds of sit ups 3 times. I don't really know any strength exercises (which I need to work on), so I just worked with what I knew.

I did get started on something, I've been putting off: clearing out my closet. I have so many clothes that have been hanging in there for literally years, and I really need to donate what I don't want and hopefully rediscover some new clothes.
Our overwhelming enthusiasm to get started on the project!

With the help of my own little Stacey London (read: tough love and hilarious betchy commentary from my best friend), I managed to go through my entire closet and shorts/skirts/leggings drawer. And it feels so so good. Now all I have left is to try on all my "maybe" shirts tomorrow.
All the contents of my closet before they were sorted!
And because I like to end on an even happier note, I had a smoothie almost the size of my head.
Really, it's hard to beat a strawberry-banana smoothie on a hot day (the trick is it has to be served in mug or it won't taste as good ;).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chocolate and Sprinkles

Posting pictures of my food is really an off and on occurrence for me. A lot of days I don't eat super healthy (I try to maintain some level of healthy eating on a daily basis) or I don't have a set meal that is interesting or photogenic. Other days, I'm really proud of how healthy I ate (I don't include all my snacks) and want to brag share it or I eat something especially delicious.

Today is one of the occasions where both reasons have inspired me to share my eats.

For breakfast I had a delicious Egg McBagel--aka an Everything bagel thin with an egg and slice of cheese. I'm a little bit obsessed with these breakfast sandwiches. They are so good!

I actually had a Egg McBagel for breakfast before the mud run to get ready for the race. Scott had an egg sandwich that included scrambled eggs and peanut butter. I consider myself pretty open with food, but I watched in awe as he ate (and enjoyed it?!). I think I'll stick to my breakfast, thank you very much!

I felt pretty creative during lunch so I decided to make a Caesar salad wrap. I just spread some Caesar salad dressing on a tortilla added some lettuce, leftover chicken, and a little bit of cheese. It was a pretty heathy lunch if I do say so myself.
The only problem is it didn't stay wrapped unless I held it, so here's this awkward picture.
Tonight we had my sister's birthday dinner with the grandparents, so of course we had a delicious hamburgers with home made french fries and a salad.
Have I mentioned I'm a ketchup fanatic? I used a very small portion for the picture so people wouldn't judge too much. A lot of people think it's gross, but haters gonna hate.

Of course the best part about birthdays is the birthday cake! My mom made a delicious, homemade 2 layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. She also used these pretty candied sprinkles to decorate it.

So delicious. And rich. And perfect. Which leaves me wondering what birthday cake I'm going to choose for my 19th. It's only 10 days away!
Just a reminder, I don't include any snacking/picking/activities that occur when I stare in my fridge.

Tomorrow, I'm going to make use of that 3 day gym pass, and try to get in a cycling class in the morning. I've never gone to one before, and I'm a little nervous especially since I'm going alone. I'm already pumping myself up to be the little cyclist who could! Has anyone gone to a cycling class before? Are they intense?