Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Yummy:
Belly Busting Berry Smoothie

1 scoop low fat, reduced sugar vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup each frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 tbsp Benefiber
3 ice cubes
 
Blend in the blender until smooth. Makes one serving.

This recipe is from The Abs Diet for Women. YUM!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now I'm Pissed Off

Today, I need to eat all of the foods listed in this article: 7 Best Stress-Fighting Foods

Papaya, Peppermint Tea (check), Pumpkin Seeds, Avocado (check), Salmon (check), Almonds (check) and Oatmeal (check)

Because:
1) My neck is hurting AGAIN!!!!!!! I got a massage yesterday (at Blue Diamond Spa) that helped immensely, but I'm still going to the doctor tomorrow. Omg, I am just so ridiculously annoyed with this. It's been going on forever!!!!

2) I got a 50 dollar parking ticket last night! The city of Hermosa Beach can suck it!

But, here is a lovely photo of some palm trees and the sun setting on the pier yesterday while I was there for happy hour.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If My Phone Answers, Ring It

Do you ever feel like your cell is attached to you like another appendage? Sometimes I do!

I love talking on the phone...especially since I have so many friends and family that live so far away from me! I talk on the phone a lot so I can stay in touch with all of them and stay connected.

But, sometimes I find myself craving a day that is entirely phone- and email-free. That's why I thought these two articles were interesting!

Outdoors and Out of Reach, Studying the Brain

One line in this article that really made me think:
"Mr. Braver says that when he retrieved his phone the night before, it dawned on him how much he turns to it in tiny moments of boredom..."
America's Most Exclusive Club

One line in this article that really made me think:
"Not having a cell phone is a way of getting the world to run on your time"
What do you think?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Yummy:
Chicken Sandwich from Heaven

1 chicken breast
1 tbsp goat cheese
1 tsp chopped scallions
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 leaf romaine lettuce
1 whole wheat hamburger bun
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Paint olive oil on chicken breast, then sprinkle on the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place chicken breast in foil-lined, 8x8 pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Toast hamburger bun. Spread goat cheese on the top of the bun. Layer all other ingredients and chicken breast on the bun.


Guess what? I made up this recipe all on my own (but it was inspired by a salad I love at Sweetwater!)! It's also really good if you use a grilled chicken breast. And hey look at that clean-up – easy as pie!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take the chance?

Oh my gosh...I am so glad that today is my last day of work this week. I have been busting my butt all week …I feel like I’m on speed or something. I have worked 10 hours every day this week. Usually I start to feel exhausted once I hit the 6-hour mark. Those last two hours are normally pretty rough. Thinking back, I remember when I was on shift work and I had to work 10 hour days for 7 days in a row. I don’t know how I did it. Plus those days were incredibly long and boring!

I have no idea how people who do this all the time actually manage. I mean, there are people that work 50+ hours a week all the time! I’d die. Or feel like I never have any time to do anything but work, exercise, and eat.

Last night I actually dreamed about work. I am not joking. I dreamed about explaining a schedule to one of my co-workers.

Even though it’s been super stressful, I have noticed some good things this week:
1. The days have flown by
2. I’d choose being busy over being bored any day
3. I’ve gotten tons accomplished
4. I’ve taken initiative and started some new things
5. I’ve done well at taking the lead while my co-workers were out of the office and on vacation
6. Taking the lead is scary sometimes!
7. Once I do it - taking the lead on things makes me feel happy and like I’m making valuable contributions
8. The key to my happiness at work is feeling like I’m making valuable contributions (and actually making them lol)
9. It’s good to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone now and again
10. It’s good to have faith in my abilities

WOOT!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There is Beauty in Your Presence

I was reading Glamour last weekend while lounging at the pool, and I was so inspired and touched by an article that described a mission called Operation Beautiful. If you check out their website, the tagline says “transforming the way you see yourself one post-it note at a time.” The mission that the Operation Beautiful website has undertaken is “to end negative self-talk or ‘fat talk.’”
The creator of the site, Caitlin, states:
“I began Operation Beautiful by leaving positive messages on the mirrors of public restrooms — at work, at the gym, at the grocery store. I scribble down whatever comes to mind — "You are beautiful!" or "You are amazing just the way you are!" My personal goal is to leave as many…notes as I can. Maybe some people read them and just smile, but I bet some people are truly touched...”
Oh my gosh…if you read today's post, someone wrote Caitlin and said that her 7 year old daughter was crying about how she wasn’t pretty and that she was fat!!! Seven years old!! Isn’t that crazy!?

Here is my first Operation Beautiful contribution! Remember my post the other day about Yogi Tea? One of my favorite things was the inspirational sayings that are printed on the little tab at the end of the string on the teabag. I made a little note with the saying that was on my tea today, and put it on the mirror in the bathroom at work (and several others...I printed a lot of them)!


You can send your own Operation Beautiful note to the creator of the site at OperationBeautiful@gmail.com. I sent mine! :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

After That Injury Last Month....

After that neck injury last month...I have definitely felt like it has taken me some time to get back into working out really hard. I want to be careful and avoid re-injuring myself, but it has been sorta hard for me to hold myself back from really going for the gusto while I'm exercising.  I'm not saying that I never have a lazy, less than energetic workouts. But after feeling laid-up for that long, I really would like to get back to getting the most out of my workouts.

This is one of the reasons why I usually take an entire week off every few months. Yes, a whole seven days. It is a great way to fully rest your body and give you new motivation!

So yeah...I pushed myself on Sunday morning at yoga, and I ended up bothering my neck again. Ugh! I am so annoyed. It feels better today but Sunday night and last night it was annoying the crap out of me.

Then I was wondering...how much of my hard work really came undone during that time off? And looky here, an article all about it: How Long Does It Take to Fall Out of Shape?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Boy Are My Arms Tired

Since I travel pretty much every day of my life for work, I have become the absolute most efficient packer in the history of the Earth. I try to bring comforting pieces of home with me while I travel...and I just had to post a picture of this gorgeous Vera Bradly travel bag/hanging organizer that my sister got me for my birthday! She got me this brightly colored design to make me happy while I'm away form home! I love this thing! Isn't it beautiful? Now I use it all the time - not just when I travel - because it is so convenient and functional!

For those of you who travel a lot, do you have any recommendations for bringing a piece of "home" with you while you're on travel? And I mean a small piece, because I only bring one roller bag. Hah!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekend Yummy:
Show Me The Honey Smoothie

1 scoop reduced fat, no-sugar-added butter pecan ice cream
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1 dash cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey
3 ice cubes
 
Blend in the blender until smooth. Makes one serving.
 
This recipe is from The Abs Diet for Women. YUM!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Netflix for Books?

Check out this site I just found online - it's just like Netflix, but for books! Book Swim! My BFF, Jessi, and I are always trying to come up with entrepreneurial ideas, and this was one that we thought about. So it made me laugh when I actually found it on the web.

But whew...check out those prices! The cheapest one they offer is 3 books at a time for $23.95 a month (unlimited books per month). And that's what they consider a light reader. Yikes.

What if you wanted one book at a time? Well, if you look below the main pricing graphic, in super-tiny print you'll see that you can get one book at a time for $9.95, plus $3.99 per book shipping fee (only one book per month though). Okay...so I don't get why they don't just include the shipping in the price quote for this plan like they do the others, but okay, I can add, that equals $13.94 per month.

My Netflix plan is only $9.95 per month and I get one DVD at a time, as many DVDs as I want a month, plus unlimited streaming of movies from the website. Why would the service for books be so much more expensive? Because of greater shipping costs?

Hey guess what? I can request books on the Los Angeles Public Library website, get them shipped to the library branch that is closest to me (from any library with in the LAPL System).....free! They email me when it's arrived there, and all I have to do is ride my bike to pick it up and borrow it...um, for free!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Twist on Having the Spins

Do you ever have dreams that seem so incredibly real? I had a nightmare a couple nights ago that was like that (actually, I had a nightmare for 3 nights in a row! WTF!!!??). I was in my apartment, and I swear everything in it looked exactly as it does as I am sitting here looking at it right now!

And...there was an enormous tornado outside my living room window.

I remember lying on the floor next to my oversized chair (and there was my rug...clear as day under me lol), and covering my head with my hands. I looked up at Robbie standing in the doorway to my hall. He reached out his hand to me, I stood up, looked out the window at the tornado, and ran to him as fast as I could. We went and laid in the bathtub, hugging each other and praying. It was the only thing we could think of to do! It was completely terrifying.

I woke up at 4 a.m.and I was shaking so hard I thought that maybe there was another earthquake, and I just dreamed it into my dream! I stayed up for almost an hour because I was afraid of falling back into the dream! Don't you hate when that happens!!!??

Okay it sounds totally stupid now that I was that scared, but seriously, it was so REAL!!!!

Out of curiosity, I researched the symbolism of tornadoes in dreams. Most of the sites I visited said that in dreams, air represents thoughts and emotions....and in turn tornadoes are your thoughts or emotions spinning around and out of control. They can also symbolize a feeling that a type of destruction is imminent because of warnings that have been ignored, or a situation that you feel powerless over.


Do you believe this dream symbolism stuff?

I was telling my mom about it and she told me she thinks I'm just hormonal. Ha ha!!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life's a Beach

Last weekend I biked down to the beach and took a few pictures! It was a totally gorgeous day. As I said the other day, I just started getting out my beach cruiser again and riding it around. I love it, I'm so glad I bought it. It's so nice to get some exercise on my way to the beach. Plus, I don't have to look for, or pay for parking!!! Two of my biggest pet peeves ever when going to the beach! That alone makes me love my beach cruiser even more!

While I was at the beach I just laid around (obviously lol), read a book, and enjoyed the gorgeous view. There were TONS of boats on the ocean that day (both sailboats and motorboats). It was lovely!

Sunny!
It was so sunny and beautiful!!! I love this American Flag beach blanket! I've had it for years and it is pretty worn out but I refuse to get rid of it! I got it a milliion years ago when I went to Clearwater, FL with my BFF Chrissy!

My legs, toes, sand, ocean, and sailboats in the distance!
Cheese!!!
I ended up leaving after a few hours because it was getting cold!!! I think a lot of people have the misconception that Southern California is always really hot. It is not always really hot here! Actually, it is quite the opposite. Near the coast, it stays in the 70s most times. It's interesting because the weather report on the nightly news always has 3 different reports: one for the beach areas, one for the valleys and inland areas, and one for the mountain areas. And living in SoCal is a lot like living in the desert...it just happens to be next to the ocean!  

Once you get by the ocean and feel the breeze coming off of the water, it can actually be pretty chilly! I never understood it when I would see people wearing bathing suits with zip-up hooded sweatshirts - until I started living here. When you are lying flat on the beach with the sun beating down, it is really hot. But as soon as you sit or stand up, the wind hits you and cools you right off! And don't even get me started on the water - it's FRIGID! I have only ever gone in up to my ankles!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Book Discussion: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Unless you have been living under a rock...you have probably heard of the trilogy of books that are incredibly popular right now - the first being The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I heard about it from a friend who told me it was totally amazing. I have to say, she was right. I'm not going to go into a synopsis of the plot because you can easily read that anywhere on the web. But I will tell you the things that I loved about the book. First, a major part of the book is a really interesting murder mystery with an intricate plot. The story includes interesting and well developed characters that each have their own story, outside of the murder mystery. The main female character, Lisbeth Salander, is totally awesome. She kicks butt the whole time, and I am a huge fan of women who kick butt (Kill Bill, anyone?). The other main character is Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist with  his own story, including sleeping with as  many women as possible. LOL. It's sorta ridiculous but entertaining to say the least.


I also recently watched the movie adaptation of the book (streaming instantly via Netflix...yay); it is in Swedish with English subtitles. It was really, really good. Even though some things in the movie seemed to go a lot faster than they did in the book, I guess that is the nature of the beast (and I'd rather have that than a movie that's 5 hours long). Overall I thought it was a really good representation of the book. There are certain scenes in the book that are pretty violent and tough to watch. I didn't find it super upsetting while I was reading it, but seeing some of the things acted out in a movie was pretty scary. I almost got up and skipped through some parts!

I read an article in the newspaper the other day and they said that Lisbeth was "aspergian" in her personality. I disagree totally. The person who wrote that article maybe didn't pay close attention to the portions of the book dealing with Lisbeth, or isn't that informed about Asperger's Syndrome (why does that topic keep coming up? LOL). She chooses not to interact and talk with people. She doesn't have the inability to do so. 

Also in the article they said that the book series, called the Millennium Series, was actually supposed to be 10 books long! I was totally shocked. The author of the books, Stieg Larsson actually passed away before he could finish. I guess there is a 4th book out there, but there is a legal battle going on regarding the manuscript.

The artcile also said that there is a English language version of the movie in the works in Hollywood! Daniel Craig is going to play Mikael. I am super excited to see it when it finally comes out!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Please Don't Stop the Music

I went to a new yoga class last night and it was an amazing workout!!! It was so challenging. One of the Sun Salutation sequences that we did multiple times is similar to the one shown below: 

Sun Salutation Sequence
The instructor edited the sequence slightly and had us repeat the following two poses two or thee times, each time we went through the sequence.

Plank Pose

Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

So yes, we first held Plank Pose, lowered ourselves to the ground and held Four Limbed Staff Pose, then pushed back up to Plank Pose, and then repeated (like a push-up but with your elbows close to your body). Then we went on to Upward Facing Dog and Downward Facing Dog. Holy cow...this was so hard! Seriously. I had to let myself lay down on the ground a few times because I just didn't have the upper body strength to push myself up again. Today my arms and shoulders are so sore! In a good way though. :-)

On my way home last night, I started thinking about how different each class is that I have attended lately. I feel like every teacher I have brings a whole different experience to my practice. One instructor focuses on flowing from pose to pose, linking each breath to each movement, meditation, stress reduction, and moderately challenging poses. The only rule she has is that if you fall, you have to laugh (even if it is on the inside). She offers many thoughts during the class, like "This is your practice, it is about you only, you should only do what your body wants you to do, everything I say is simply a 'suggestion,' and this class is not a competition." She plays "beach-y" sounding music, like Jack Johnson and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (I've posted about her class previously).

Another instructor focuses mainly on stretching poses, "one breath, one movement", and creates a slightly more competitive atmosphere (I'm not much of a fan of this). She does some meditation, but not a lot. She plays Latin music. Yet another instructor focuses on extremely challenging poses, flowing from pose to pose, and is very specific about form and performing the poses correctly (I've also posted about her class previously). She challenges us to try head stands and other things. She does some meditation, but not a lot. She plays new age-y and Asian sounding music (sorry if this is not PC, not sure how else to say it!). The instructor last night focused more on making the practice a challenging workout, no meditation, and played R&B music! Another one again focused on a challenging workout that felt more like pilates and played Indian sounding music (again...sorry if this is not PC, not sure how else to say it!)!

Needless to say, this varied experience has been really interesting. I love having so many different options. It's also caused me to think about how I might like to lead my classes when I eventually become an instructor!

One last thing (cripes this post is long...), here is a link to an article talking about yoga poses that tone your abs: 4 Yoga Moves for a Slimmer Middle

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Two Best Scentsy Consultants EVER

Hello everyone! Okay...so, you might be noticing that I happen to really like Scentsy. After I wrote my post last night I wast thinking that I should really tell everyone about my two BFFs that sell Scentsy. They are the two best Scentsy consultants you will ever meet!

So, I thought I'd post both of their websites, and I'm also going to put a link on the right column of my blog (under "Favorite Links") so they are always available for all of your Scentsy needs.

So...here is Lindsay's Website....

And here is Jackie's Website....

:-)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

New Scentsy Warmer :-)

This post is going to be short and sweet but I wanted to say hello and post some pictures! The first two are my new Scentsy Warmer - the Tiki Warmer! It was the warmer of the month in July and when I saw it I HAD to have it! It's so cute! The first pic is the one from the website, and the second pic is the warmer sitting on my end table in my living room. :-) I'm very excited because I think it fits in with my decor perfectly.




Below are some pictures from last weekend at the 6-Man Volleyball Tournament in Manhattan Beach. When I went biking on Saturday, this is where I went! Robbie and I also went there on Sunday while he was in town. It was so much fun. The weather was gorgeous and as you can see there were TONS of people there! It took me twenty minutes just to find somewhere to lock up my bike on Saturday. It is also pretty entertaining because all the people in the tournament dress up in silly costumes. The first picture below is of two female teams, one team is dressed up like gypsies and the other team is dressed up like "Swedish" ladies. I've never seen so many ridiculously tall people in one day!



Tuesday, August 03, 2010

July Workouts + Doggies

Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday! I spent the whole morning thinking it was Wednesday and was rudely reminded that no, I'm not actually half way to the weekend. Boo.

Below is my workout calendar for July. You will see that this month was rough because of the neck injury that I was dealing with. Last Saturday was the first day that I actually had a difficult workout (since July 13th) and I thought I was going to die. And all I did was go biking on the strand! It kicked my butt and my legs were killing me later that day!

But hey check out that first week! I didn't even take one day off! I forgot I hadn't taken one and I worked out every day that week. Hah! I didn't even plan it. The rest of the days I took off were primarily due to the injury, but as I've seen over tracking this since January is that I always take off at least one day, and a lot of the time I end up taking off two days because of travel. This month even though I didn't travel that much....I was derailed by an injury. How about that for irony?


It was really difficult for me to take that much time off. I get really frustrated when I am injured and I can't get in my daily workout. But, I keep reminding myself that the reason why my neck feels 100% better today is that I allowed my body to rest and recover. As I said before, I had a neck injury like this before and it ended up taking forever for it to heal completely because I didn't rest it. Unfortunately, as you can see from the calendar, the injury flared up and bothered me more than once. Talk about annoying. I ended up getting about 3 or 4 massages in the past few weeks. Every time I questioned whether I could go strain myself at the gym I kept coming back to the answer "no," because I didn't feel 100% better. I mean, really think about how much most workouts cause you to tense your neck and shoulder muscles!!!

On another note, here is a photo of my mom's new Beagle puppy (and my Granny in the background lol)!!!! Isn't she so completely adorable!? They named her Roxie. I can't wait to meet her the next time I go to Michigan for a visit!!


I'd like to draw special attention to the super cute belly. Omg. I want to snuggle her so bad! And here is a super cute picture of Buster. Isn't he the cutest?


And here is a super cute picture of my BFF Chrissy's doggie, Dudley! Isn't he the cutest too?! I love his guy-liner the best. They were going to a cabin for the weekend and he was really excited!