froyo

Work was pretty stressful today. The day just seemed to drag on and on and on. This is a definite no-no, but I bribed myself to walk home. The renewed resolve to walk home is recent, so I really didn’t want to bail out. I have found that keeping up with my walking routine plays an important part in keeping me feeling well, motivated and excited to continue on with other fitness plans.

I’m not really sorry about my choice to bribe myself; it was awesome. I hit up my favorite Rice Pudding/Fro-Yo shop, Loving Cup. I ordered my typical fro-yo combo, chocolate base with raspberries blended in. I decided to go all out and add some Oreo crumbs; my day sort of warranted it. Then I reached into my bag, pulled out my camera and had the “battery dead” message come across the screen. Fail. Then I took out my iPhone and snapped this picture while two other customers pointed at me and whispered.

What? Don’t YOU take iPhone pictures of your frozen yogurt before you eat it?

No. Right. Sorry.

I ate my treat and completed my walk. Fro-yo rules.

Then I made a super weird dinner.

I pan-fried left over spaghetti squash, then I topped it with a veggie sausage and a sunny-side up egg. It was really weird, yet delicious. The runny egg definitely made this meal.

Now to continue on with my Degrassi fest

Do you ever have to bribe yourself to follow through with your exercise plans?

Okay!

Time to talk about day 2 of my Orange County trip!

Cindy and I decided to have a leisurely day, so we slept in a little bit. Even after we woke up, we were both sitting in our beds clacking away on our keyboards and doing computer things. It felt nice to be on a trip with someone who is like me and feels a little naked and uncomfortable without a laptop in their bag!

After internet business and showering, we decided to head out to breakfast.  We wound up at a chain restaurant that was near our hotel, Mimi’s Cafe. I had no idea it was a chain…honestly I had never heard of it before. After checking the website, I guess it’s just that the closest location to San Francisco is still too far away for me to have been exposed to it. No matter. I thought the food was pretty darned delicious! The portions were a little crazy though. Check this out:

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Behold the Santa Fe Wrap!

(Scrambled eggs with onions, jalapenos, cilantro, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and black beans wrapped in a tomato tortilla)

The wrap was pretty darned humungous….but that wasn’t all you got, either!

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The meal also came with a muffin and glass of juice of your choice!

Cindy and I ordered the same meal, except for our muffin and beverage decisions. She had a honey bran muffin, orange juice and tea; I had a pumpkin  (of course!) muffin, apple juice and coffee. That pumpkin muffin was no joke, either. It was absolutely heavenly. Since the meals were so large, both of us wound up taking half of the wrap and half of the muffin (my half pictured above) back to the hotel with us. As we were lucky enough to have a mini fridge and microwave in our room, we were able to eat the other half of our meal for breakfast the next day. It heated up pretty well!

Once we were fed and watered, we got in the car and drove up to L.A. The reason we were in town was to see a concert at The Palladium, so we figured we would mess around up there for the day. A few days before our trip I had come across a website for a store that sounded absolutely…magical….and since we were in town, we both thought checking it out would be a fun thing to do.

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A Harry Potter shop! How could we not go here?! Cindy and I are both Potter fans….actually, I just saw the 7th movie with Cindy and some friends a few weeks ago. The store was pretty darned cool. There was a room full of robes, school uniforms, scarves and sweaters. Another room full of wizarding hats. A room full of your more standard type of Potter merchandise. A room for wands and wizard’s chess. A corner filled with Harry Potter themed candy and treats. A room for trinkets and things that weren’t exactly Harry Potter related, but still involved fantasy.

There was also a room for Twilight—I didn’t go near that room.

One of the coolest things about the shop was their banquet room. I didn’t get a picture, as there was an event going on. I really just spied it through a crack in the open door. It was decorated like the Great hall…floating candles and the like. I believe it was a birthday party that was going on, as I kept seeing little kids buzzing around in Hogwarts robes! So cute! I guess you can rent “The Great Hall” out for parties and events. Cindy commented that it would’ve been fun for a graduation party. I concur! Can we go back in time 11 years so I can look forward to a rad Harry Potter themed grad party, please?

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Anyway, I really liked the store. Just seemed like a fun kind of place. As much as I would like to deny it, I am very much a consumer. I knew I wanted to buy something to commemorate my visit. A certain item just kept calling out to me, thus I kept finding myself back in the school uniform/robe room….

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Yep, I bought a Gryffindor scarf! I know I could make this (or have one of my craftier friends make it for me…let’s get real, here!), but it just seemed more fun to buy it at the store. Plus, I look super cute in it. Even cuter when the backdrop isn’t my closet and I don’t have a camera in front of my face. Cindy also picked up a scarf, but she got one in the Ravenclaw colors, as she feels she’s more suited to that house. I agree. This brought on a discussion about which houses we thought various people we knew would belong in if Hogwarts was real. I didn’t want to sound full of myself, placing myself in the house that all of the Harry Potter main characters are in, but I think I probably would be in Gryffindor. I’m smart, but not like, Ravenclaw smart. I’m not really so eager to get ahead that I’ll do anything to get there….and I don’t really feel Slytherin-y. Maybe I could be a Hufflepuff, but I don’t think so. I think I’m too outspoken and, well, balls-y to be a Hufflepuff. I think I would be a Gryffindor.

My god, I wish Hogwarts was real!

All of our wizard shopping made us hungry, so we stopped in at Pinkberry to have a treat. I was pretty excited about the prospect of trying out this famous fro-yo spot. I’ve heard so many wonderful things, so I just had to go.

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Much like with my trip to Blush with Florence, Cindy and I wound up getting fro yo fruit and granola parfaits. The employee let us taste all the available flavors (tart, pomegranate, pumpkin and chocolate) and while I really liked both the tart and the pomegranate (the pumpkin was good, but not what I felt like having), I was really in a chocolate mood, so I went that route. I paired my chocolate with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. The chocolate was rich; I was a fan! Cindy went with pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries and…pineapple, I think. That’s what it looks like in the picture…I don’t actually remember.

I thought I would get through my entire day in one post, but this is getting crazy long. Next up will be the concert post. Stay tuned!

Which Hogwarts house would you most likely get sorted into? And if you have no idea, tell me about your favorite fro yo flavor. Trust me, I care about both things.

As I mentioned in one of my early blog posts, I grow very tired of people deciding that I am a tomboy and not like other women my age. Any of the people who have been forced to suffer through my crying or crazy hormone driven rants can tell you that I am a lot more girly than I appear on first sight.

For instance, I love purses.

No really, I love them.

About two years ago I bought a Coach purse on eBay. I love that purse with every fiber of my being. Perhaps more than I even love my cat. Okay. Not really that much…but I do like it a lot. Due to my deep rooted affection for my first Coach item, I was absolutely devastated when I learned that it had developed some thread-bare spots. I mean, sure, the bag was still wearable, but it certainly is looking tired from overuse and I knew it was time to go shopping.

So I called up Florence, queen of the outlet shoppers.

The girl has purses. Apparently, a lot of them.

She told me on the car ride to the mall that she had been considering just giving me one of her purses since she had so many!

It was a generous offer, but I really wanted to shop….I had the itch.

Outlet shopping is insane. People run around, nineteen purses attached to their arms and really, they looked mean. I like purses, but I’m not going to tackle you for one. These women would kill you for a wristlet.

I’m not even joking.

It’s really easy to get sucked into their world though. Before long, I started to look just like them:

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I really do look like them…I even have a Paul Frank iPhone cover….

Don’t freak out too much guys. While I certainly could have picked out three purses just for myself, I went in only for one. The other purses were for my mom and sister. On my way out of the house yesterday morning, I e-mailed my sister and asked her if she would be interested in a Coach purse for Christmas, since I was going to the store and I have no idea what to get her this year. She seemed eager, as I don’t think she’s gotten a new purse in quite some time. The problem with the whole plan, I learned, was that while I know my style well, I don’t know my sister’s style at all. I picked out my purse in about 5 minutes (it’s the one on my shoulder in the left of the above picture), but it took me nearly an hour of pacing around the store to figure out what to do for my sister.

I really didn’t want to be the bearer of a crappy present that she hated, so I finally just decided that the best course of action would be to take pictures of purses, e-mail them to her and then have her pick out her Christmas present. It seemed simple enough.

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Unfortunately, she kept getting sidetracked.

“Oh! Is that you wearing jewelry?! Oh…no…it’s your friend. This is so cool…it’s like we’re on a virtual shopping trip together! Yay!”

Okay. Really. Tell me what purse you want so I can buy it already!

Eventually we got it all figured out.

My sister got the purple bag.

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My mom got the brown leather one. I know. It looks black. A better shot of it is above.

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I got the cute mini messenger bag:

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I love being a girl. And buying purses!

If all of that purse love wasn’t enough, my friend Florence felt bad that she had missed my birthday and she bought me a gift while we were at the store. She said she could tell I was enjoying myself and that I would appreciate something else.

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I love wristlets!

(I really need better lighting in my house…my purse photo shoot does these beauties no justice!)

While we were at the mall we decided to grab a food court lunch. We both wound up getting beef bowls at the Korean BBQ stand:

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I also got a tea:

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It was kind of too sweet for my taste, but I drank it anyway. I was thirsty.

We shopped for a couple more hours and then Flo decided to take me to her favorite FroYo place. I never turn down a chance to eat frozen yogurt, so I let her lead the way. The place was called “Blush” and it is in a shopping center near her house. I sampled the Pumpkin and Blush (pomegranate + dragon fruit) flavors before settling on the Blush. It was one of the best froyo flavors I’ve ever tasted. They have a menu item called a “Blush Parfait”, which is blush froyo, granola and two fruits of your choice. Both of us decided to get that as our dessert for the evening.

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Holy moly that was a lot of dessert!

I got raspberries and blackberries as my fruit, Florence got raspberries and pomegranate arils.

After dessert Florence drove me back to Dublin/Pleasanton BART and I headed back into the city. It was so fun to have a girls day out and we vowed to go outlet shopping again soon.

If I had it my way, I’d go today!

Is there any particular clothing item or accessory that you go nuts over? Or do you hate shopping?

I awoke Tuesday morning, suffering from a case of deja vu:

Why is there no food in my house??

Okay. Fine. One more OIAJ day, since I had leftover oatmeal from Monday.

In the mix: Steel Cut Oats w/banana & ChiaFresh, three halved strawberries and a sprinkling of Scharffenberger cacao nibs. Nutella jar full of win.

After breakfast, I pretty much did nothing for several hours. I knew I should get up, exercise and do some chores, but I definitely had a case of the blahs. Sometimes I feel guilty about not accomplishing anything on my days off, but I have to remind myself that tons of people do nothing on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday and Wednesday are my weekend, and if I’m burned out from my work week, there ain’t no shame in vegging.

After some guilt, I decided that I would allow myself to wallow for most of the day, as long as I got up and did something active for at least an hour. I thought about what it would be and then I decided. While Monday wasn’t the right time for it, Tuesday was. I was going back to the gym.

For a class. A Zumba class.

I haven’t done very many group exercise courses at the gym. It was one of my goals in 2008 to incorporate them into my routines, but other than Cardio Kick, I never really got myself to show up. I can’t help it. Group exercise intimidates the heck out of me. I’m not coordinated in any sense of the word and I have a hard time getting the moves down. This is why I prefer to exercise on my own. I run alone so I don’t have to feel bad if I’m not as good as my running partner. I work out at the gym alone so that I don’t have to feel competitive or embarrassed. Group exercise definitely is outside of my comfort zone.

On the other hand, group exercise, when I can make myself attend, can be really fun. I had a pretty steady ritual with Cardio Kick for a few months in 2009. I was never any good at it, but the time went by quickly and it certainly kicked my butt when I stepped up the moves with jumps and higher kicks. With this idea in mind, I made myself go to Zumba. I told myself, while you may be a total spazz, you will at least be getting exercise and who knows, you might even have fun.

Aside from watching a few youtube videos of gym based Zumba classes from some gym on the east coast, I really had no idea what to expect from a Zumba class. I really am not a research, study, make detailed plans kind of exerciser. I mean, sure, with running I’ve read up some…as I have with strength training (not that I strength train….but, you know, I’ve read about it…). When it comes to classes, however, I might just look at an example of what a class might look like, and then decide if I think it would be fun. I don’t expect group exercise classes to burn tons of calories…I just assume that it’s something to get me off my butt for an hour. No matter what, that can’t be a bad thing!

My Zumba class was taught by this really energetic guy. I guess there are a lot of regulars in the class, as when he came in, he started greeting people by name and explaining to them that he had a new routine to try out. He also giggled and showed the class that he had notecards, explaining that working out a new routine makes him a little nervous and he wanted to be sure he didn’t mess it up. I thought that was kind of cute and endearing.

We started off with some warm ups, with arm movements and hip swaying. I must admit, I felt a little awkward. I have no dancing skills, whatsoever. I don’t really ever….shake….anything. At least not intentionally. I got over the weirdness pretty fast though, as everyone just seemed to be having fun. We moved from the warm up into several numbers….some hip hop…some more pop….some traditional. The teacher showed us each of the moves, broken down slowly, several times before we took things at tempo. I was really appreciative of the fact that this was a new routine week, as everyone needed a few extra tries before moving up to tempo. After every song, the class would clap and we would receive praise for our efforts. That was cool. I like praise. My ego is fragile, you know.

All in all, it was a fun way to kill an hour. I never really got my heart rate up too high, but I attribute some of that to the fact that I was still struggling with the moves a little bit. I think I would do it again. It was a fun, comfortable environment with everyone moving at their own level. I need to be able to move at my own level. Seriously. Afterwards, I debated running upstairs and trying to get in on that Intro to Yoga class that I always mean to attend. Problem was that I wasn’t sure if it had started yet, and I didn’t want to walk in all sweaty to a class that was already getting their zen on. Maybe next week.

Afterwards, I did this:

What? You don’t end your workout routines with giant cups of frozen yogurt? Your loss!

In the mix (wow..two mixes, one post. can you dig it?): Mostly tart froyo with a dab of cake batter, raspberries, mint chocolate cookies, a couple of hunks of cheesecake and crushed almond rocca.

I actually had no intention of having this much…but the yogurt and topping dispensers sort of exploded into my cup. Oh well. Sorry for the unattractive picture, but I was in a mall, armed only with my iPhone. Plus, DIY froyo just typically isn’t all that pretty.

It tastes good though.

I meant to post this last night, but I was still feeling kind off. I had no interest in the internet so I opted for watching The Biggest Loser, Parenthood and a ton of episodes of Glee from Season 1. It may’ve not been a productive evening, but it made me happy.

Feelings on group exercise — yay or nay?

 

 

First, the delicious:

I ate way too much food yesterday. No apologies from me, however. After my wonderful Fleet Week fare at work I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have one more treat. I was on my 4 mile walk home when I passed by my favorite, Loving Cup, and got this:

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Chocolate fro-yo with Nutella blended in, topped with Oreos. Sinfully amazing.

I almost thought that my dessert was going to hold me over all night and I wasn’t going to need any dinner, but at about 7:30 or 8pm, my stomach started growling and I realized I was going to have to cook something after all. Originally, I had been planning to make some type of pasta, but that just sounded too heavy after everything I ate yesterday. In the end, I decided to try making something I had never made before.

Balsamic Strawberry Omelet

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I halved several strawberries and mixed them with about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

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After a few minutes of cooking them in a greased (just with cooking spray) frying pan, they started to thicken up a bit. The smell was out of this world.

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Then I took two of my fresh CSA eggs (the first two in the first row, actually) and made up an omelet in a clean frying pan. At this point, I would like to show you an amazing picture of omelet making, but since I typically screw up omelets and wind up with scrambled eggs, I was concentrating and had no time for photography.

I can, however, show you the finished product:

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I topped it with a few uncooked strawberries.

I must say, this is one of the best things I’ve ever cooked. I can’t believe how simple it is either. If you’ve never tried fruit in your omelet before, I suggest you try it out, stat. I also implore you to get some fresh eggs. These eggs tasted unbelievable. Really, the eggs they sell at the store can’t compare.

Secondly, the dilemma:

Soon after running my first 5K, I knew I wanted to run several more races this year. One of the races that I thought would fit my schedule was the “Run Wild for a Child” 5K. The course is located very close to my house and the Panhandle, my normal running area, is part of the route. I figured doing it would be a no brainer.

I was looking around at the site the other day and I checked out the course map. I realized that the course that the 10K (the race has both a 5K and a 10K event) runners will be taking is almost identical to the route I wound up on when I got lost in Golden Gate Park last Tuesday. It’s actually the route that I would sort of like to eventually be part of my running routine.

I started thinking: I know I can already walk the 10K distance comfortably. The course is close to my home and I could actually train running the actual race route. If I didn’t feel confident enough by race day, I could always ask and see if I could drop down to the 5K.  Why not try to run the 10K instead?

The thing is, I’m barely at the point where 5K feels comfortable. It still feels slightly difficult. Doable? Sure. No doubts. It still leaves me wiped out though. I really don’t want to push myself to run a longer distance race before I’m ready. I really don’t want to do too much too soon.

On the other hand, since I have no races longer than 5K out in front of me, there’s not a lot of incentive to push myself farther and become capable of longer distances. Maybe a goal like this is exactly what I need to try to inspire myself to do better.

I’m not sure.

I don’t have to register for quite some time, so I can think on it. Just not sure of the right decision for me.

How do you decide what race distance is realistic for you? What factors do you consider?

Work was tough today. Mentally, that is. All day I dreamt of a trip to one of my favorite dessert spots:

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Normally, I hit up Loving Cup for the rice pudding…they have five different flavors everyday:

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The first flavor I ever had was Cookies n’ Cream:

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But today, I wasn’t interested in rice pudding. I needed FroYo. Stat.

At Loving Cup, you pick a base flavor, and then they actually blend in whatever you want. Kind of like the Cold Stone of FroYo:

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Today, I got a chocolate base with raspberries blended in. Topped with just a tiny bit of granola:

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It was fabulous.

Then I was ready to tackle my CSA box haul. I decided to make an “Eggplant Burrito”. Often times when I get a lot of produce, I prep it (clean, chop, etc.) ahead of time, so as the week goes on, I can easily grab a handful of this, or a handful of that. It makes me less likely to say, “Eh, cooking is too much work…let’s have pizza!” So while I got everything ready for dinner, I decided to chop up all of my bell peppers and one onion and one eggplant for usage this week:

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After the chopping was done, it was time to make my burrito filling. I started by sauteing garlic and onions in some extra virgin olive oil. Then I added the bell peppers:

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Then I added the eggplant and let it cook. Once it was almost ready, I added liberal dashes of chili powder and cumin:

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Then I grabbed a Flat Out wrap, topped it with a handful of spinach and half of the eggplant–the rest is for lunch tomorrow. Then I made it even more awesome by adding a dollop of Fage greek yogurt, 1/4 of an avocado, 1 small chopped heirloom tomato and a sprinkling of mexican blend shredded cheese. The tomato was the BEST tomato I have EVER tasted in my entire life. It was perfect. Such flavor. Such sweetness. I want to marry it and have its babies:

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Sorry. I was casting a shadow, but trust, me, it looked awesome.

And it tasted awesome, as just after this shot, I rolled it up and consumed it in about 30 seconds. Tasty!

Now I’m off to geek out with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Happy Saturday night!