Thursday, June 30, 2011

What I'm Loving Right Now

1. Mad Men Season 4
We just finished it on Netflix and it just may have been my favorite season yet. The Suitcase was one seriously amazing episode. I'm heartbroken that I have to wait so long for Season 5!

Luckily I found the amazing website, Tom and Lorenzo, that recaps the style of every episode and character. This has kept me entertained for HOURS.

2. My Book Club
My friend Kim started a real-life book club and I love it! So far we'd read Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and Cutting for Stone. I'll post reviews of them another day.

2. Fage Greek Yogurt with Fruit
I've always loved non-fat Fage Greek Yogurt, but it was always a bit plain for my taste. Then I discovered the yogurt + fruit topping combo. LOVE it. And I found it a Costco too. Double score.

3. Playing with my New Camera
I got my Cannon Rebel last week! I've been trying out a lot of the functionality and taking a lot of pictures of Judah since he's generally the only willing subject around the condo.

4. Working out to the Song, "All of the Lights" by Kanye West
I seriously put this on repeat with a couple of other upbeat new songs for my gym workouts. I don't usually listen to much Top 40 music, but for working out a lot of the current music is perfect.

5. Gina's Skinnytaste
Shoutout to Dee for introducing this to me. Turns out everyone knew about this website except me. I made this Southwestern Black Bean Salad on Monday. Yum! Perfect for Summer!

6. Long days
I love that when I get off work it's still sunny and we can dine al fresco like we've done the past couple of evenings.

7. Pacifico Beer
Is there any better Summer beer?

8. Your sweet comment on my post Tuesday
Thanks for your kind words and supportive words.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10 Year Panic

When I was a Sophomore in college there used to be advertisement at my gym that I'd see all the time about a girl working out hard to look killer at her 10 year high school reunion.

And with that simple ad, an idea was born. I decided then and there that I would be thin, toned, and hot at my 10 year reunion.

And I proceed to carry this idea around with me for many years after. So much so that I even decided that I didn't want to try for babies until after the 10 year reunion (I even put that on my Baby Bucket List).

I'm not sure why I got stuck on this idea so hard. I mean I was not a fat girl in high school. But I was not a skinny-mini thing either. I'm tall and Scandinavian, so I do remember feeling "big" a lot in high school, even though I was not.

As evidence, here I am, summer before my senior year.

I mean, I was a double varsity athlete for gosh sakes, so I was in good shape. I just never felt like I was "hot" like the smaller cheerleader friends of mine.

As I've grown up I've gotten more comfortable in my own skin. I appreciate that I have a husband who loves me as I am, that I can afford to buy nutritious food, and that I have a body that's rarely sick or injured.

But last week when I got the invitation to my 10 year high school reunion, I couldn't help but remember my goal, set over 8 years ago, of rockin' a killer bod at that reunion.

So I did some quick math... my reunion is in 12 weeks and I'd like to lose 10 pounds.

Losing 10 pounds would bring me down to my wedding weight, which was the lightest I had weighed since I was 13 years old.

OK, 10 lbs in 12 weeks, I can do this, right?!

I just keep reminding myself that "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" and that "sweat is fat crying." I even started a Pinterest workout motivation board to counteract all the delicious sweets I see on Pinterest. Like these amazing truffles that I plan to reward myself with in October.

So tell me, did you go to your 10 year reunion? Did you do anything to prepare? And more importantly, was it a good time?

And are there any other Class of 2001ers out there?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 Easy, Healthy, "Go-To" Recipes

When I got married I was a horrible cook.

Like so horrible I could only really make spaghetti and frequently I'd screw that up too.

But about a year ago I decided to "beef" (get it? "beef!") up my cooking skills.

As part of this goal I even decided that I'd add "Learn 5 good, healthy, go-to meals" to my Baby Bucket List.

For something to be considered a "go-to" meal it has to be something I've made multiple times and have perfected. And healthy means low in calories and high in natural ingredients.

This weekend The Mr. and I remade the always amazing, and oh-so-summery Grilled Lemon Chicken with Fennel and Onion.

It was SO delish. I prepared it all and cooked the rice. Then the Mr. grilled it up. Have I mentioned that he is a grill master? He is.

If you have a BBQ you need to make this recipe this weekend. Seriously.

But in making it again I realized that I now have 5 Easy, Healthy, "Go-To" Recipes!

They are:
- Grilled Lemon Chicken with Fennel and Onion (recipe)
- Crockpot Pasta Fagioli Soup (recipe)
- Healthier PW Chicken Spaghetti (recipe)
- Gazpacho (recipe)
- Mediterranean Chicken in a foil pouch (recipe)

And as a bonus I have 4 "Go-To" side dishes:
- Kale Chips (recipe)
- Sweet Potato Wedges (recipe)
- Steamed veggies in my stainless steel waterless cookware
- Brown rice in my rice cooker

So I have my "5" recipes but I'm always looking for more. So tell me, what your favorite "easy, healthy, go-to recipes?"

Let me know and I'll pin them to pinterest foodie board!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer!

It's the first day of ...

It's no small secret that Summer has always been my favorite season.

I love the long days at the beach

Relaxing in the evening with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc

Eating fresh fruit

Celebrating the 4th of July and my birthday

Cooling off in my pool

And cuddling up by the campfire

Why does Summer always take so long to get here and then end so fast?

What do you love about Summer?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saturday Night in Hollywood!

I have a confession to make...

Although I live in "Los Angeles" I don't spend a ton of time in the part of LA that most people consider "Los Angeles", aka Hollywood/West LA.

But this past weekend we did a little "staycation" in Hollywood to attend my company's annual party.

We got a hotel room at The W Hollywood.

Note: My dress is from Nordstrom Rack and the designer is Adrianna Papell. The back is a fun cross-back and there are little rosettes on the bottom. I love it!

And really enjoyed the fun lobby scene there.

We did a little pre-partying in our hotel room at The W. We loved this "Mad Men-eque" bar.

Note #2: No we didn't drink that mini-bar booze, be brought our own beer. :)

The we headed to Supperclub for the annual party. Supperclub is a new nightclub in Hollywood that my company rented out for the evening.

The theme of the party was "Cirque Du Soleil" and they had real Cirque performers there. Like this contortionist who greeted us at the bar.

There were drinks, music, casino games, and a full Cirque show. So fun!

This Cirque performer was hula-hooping with a ring of fire. Can you say crazy?

I loved the acrobats. Amazing!

The Mr. tried to look very serious in our booth here. Not sure why.

I also had a chance to mingle with a bunch of co-workers and meet their significant others.

One co-worker, who I'll call "A" told me that she reads my blog. So I told her I'd post a picture of us on it (that's her on the far right). Hi "A"! :)

Overall it was SUCH a fun party. I'm so glad my company puts this on for us and our significant others. Thanks Large Consulting Firm!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gazpacho Season!

I blogged last week about being excited for summer because it's "Gazpacho Season", and a few people asked for my recipe, so I've posted it here.

Gazpacho is cold summer soup that's made with ripe summer tomatoes. It's so fresh, healthy, and yummy!


(Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook)

- 1 cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper
- 8 ripe tomatoes (NOT canned. Choose ripe romas or heirlooms or a combo!)
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet red onion
- 1 tbsp of minced garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp bread crumbs
- Sea salt to taste

- Peel the cucumber and slice in half lengthwise, then scoop out any seeds with a small spoon.
- Finely dice enough cucumber to measure out 2 Tbsp, set aside and chop the rest.
- Remove the core and seeds from the bell pepper. Chop bell pepper.
- Chop enough onion for 1/2 cup.
- Chop all tomatoes.
- Combine all ingredients except the bread crumbs into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
- Stir in bread crumbs.
- Taste for salt and additional vinegar.
- Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
- Serve in chilled bowls drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and garnished with the reserved diced cucumber.

This recipes serves 4, but the Mr. and I eat a whole batch together for dinner quite often in the summer. It also make a great appetizer for a summer dinner party because you can make it all in advance and serve it cold.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Flashback Friday - 6 Years Ago

Six years ago I became an "adult".

I graduated from USC, got my own apartment, and started my career at Large Consulting Firm.

My graduation day was so fun!

I got to attend the main USC graduation with the Mr.

And I got to walk at the Annenberg School of Communication Graduation with three of my sorority sisters.
LinkYou can follow a couple of them on Twitter. Erin works for CSI NY. And Robyn works for TV Guide. They both tweet a lot about TV and life in the entertainment industry.

I said goodbye to beloved sorority house. "We'll be Gamma Phi's together and when we're gone
There'll be Gamma Phi's here to sing our song."

And then I drove down to San Diego for a fun graduation party that my parents threw for me.

The next week I moved into my first "adult" apartment in Manhattan Beach (4 blocks from the beach!). Here's my old room and living room.

The apartment was a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment and I shared it with my best friend from college. You may recognize her from here. Here's a picture of us from the housewarming party that we threw as soon as we were settled.

I loved that apartment.

I turned 22 a month after we moved in. I felt SO old and mature. Now I realize I was such a baby thing. The Mr. and I celebrated my 22nd birthday at Panchos in Manhattan Beach.

(Don't we look different!?)

The Mr., my roomie, and I had SO much fun that summer. We went out all the time to local South Bay bars and restaurants. We were adults with jobs and money and we were determined to spend that money!

It was such an exciting time. Our first taste of adulthood. Seems both like forever ago and yesterday.

What were you doing 6 years ago?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Stream of Consciousness x10

1. On Saturday the Bear Triplets went to be with Jesus. I'm so heartbroken for Carey and Jeremy. Please pray for peace and comfort for them. They both wrote beautiful and heartbreaking stories about their three boys (Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar) on their blogs: Carey's Blog and Jeremy's Blog (warning, do not read these at work like I did).

2. I'm finally getting a DSLR camera! A Canon Rebel. It's my birthday present from my Mom! Thanks Mom! Now I'll need to learn to use it. I am EXCITED!

3. I didn't win Kelly's Korner's $600 gift card. But Kelly did like my 6 ingredient recipe! Woo hoo!

4. I finally finished our Europe Trip 2010 photo album on Blurb. That only took me a year, ha!

I still need to edit the book. But if you want to preview it here, you can!

5. I really want to go to Napa this summer, but the Mr. says it's not in the budget because apparently if we go to Napa we're gonna have to buy several cases of wine. Le sigh.

6. Speaking of budgets, our Pastor wants to talk to use about leading a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Course at Church. (I wonder what Dave would say about a Napa Trip? Le sigh again.) Exciting but kind of intimidating too.

7. We started watching Season 4 of Mad men on Netflix. Good stuff so far!

8. I think I'm gonna have the Mr. take me to Glen Ivy Day Spa for my birthday present. I think that's what I want.

9. I have several weddings coming up this Summer and my company semi-formal party this weekend. I going to hit up Nordstrom Rack and try to find some fun dresses. I'll let you know what I find.

10. I love summer because that means it's gazpacho season! I need to post my gazpacho recipe.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Rosemary Sweet Potato Wedges and Prayers for the Bear Triplets

This is one of my favorite recipes that I've found doing Weight Watchers Online. These Sweet Potato Wedges make a great appetizer or side dish for a BBQ. They are so simple, delish, and much more healthy than french fries. I really think the rosemary gives them a great flavor.

he Ingredients
- 2 large sweet potato(es), washed and patted dry
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Cut each potato into 8 or so lengthwise wedges and place on a nonstick baking sheet.
- Drizzle with oil (I use a Misto olive oil sprayer)
- Sprinkle with salt and dried rosemary.
- Roast on one side for 10-15 minutes
- Toss and roast on other side until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more.

Serve with ketchup if your love ketchup like I do.

4 wedges (without ketchup) = 3 WW points


If you follow me on Twitter you'll know I've been tweeting about this. My dear friend Carey is pregnant with Triplets (22 weeks today). On Tuesday night Baby A's water broke. She's been in the hospital ever since, fighting to keep the Triplets alive and free of infection.

Please pray that the Triplets will stay put for a few more weeks and pray that they all stay free of infection.

And please pray for Carey's spirit. I visited her in the hospital yesterday and she said that prayers from friends, family, and strangers is what's keeping her strong and positive.

Our God is a God of miracles. Let's pray for one!

To read more about The Bear Triplets you can read Carey's Husband's Blog, Tips on Triplets.
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