Thursday, June 18, 2009

Leisure Time

I'm loving the latest post over at I realized that I hardly ever take the time to truly relax. When I was little I used to sit in my bean bag chair and read books for hours. These days I can't tell you the last book I read (although I've purchased plenty that are gathering dust on my bookshelf). If I'm not at work, I'm rushing to the gym, going out with friends, or planning my next adventure. The days of craft projects, movies/popcorn on a Friday night, and a long nap have been replaced with LA traffic, rushed shopping trips, and hurrying to meet friends for a night out.

Now that I've moved into a quiet little place, I need to slow down. I need to stop worrying about what I'll be missing out on if I stay in for the night, put my new chaise to use, and watch life at the beach pass by. So this weekend I'm literally forcing myself to take some downtime...I have a few projects I need to work on and I'll definitely be sleeping in. And I'm going to try not to feel like I'm missing out on something...I've had enough fruity drinks to know that a night out will be much more appreciated when I stay in for a few. All these non-ambitious plans might be thrown out the window if fun plans come up, but at least I'll have made an attempt! When the world is rushing all around you, what do you do to take a step back & relax (workouts not included!)?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cowgirls & Coronas

After having so much fun on the cattle drive in Santa Ynez, I finally made it back up there to go horseback riding on Sunday. Jen and I picked up some snacks & beer and drove past all the gorgeous wineries before driving down a long dusty road. We met up with a guy I know who works on the ranch and we saddled up 3 horses for the trail ride. The horses were cutting horses used for chasing cattle, so they were especially responsive.

I thought that Jen had ridden before, but it turns out she was a new rider. So we had a slow and easy trail ride. I was dying to pick it up a notch, so our "cowboy" stayed with Jen while I galloped out in front. It is one of the most amazing experiences...literally takes the breath right out of you.

Cowboy had a saddle bag with a cooler (!), so we downed quite a few Coronas along the way. After a stream crossing, we made it to a small cabin where we had gourmet cheese and crackers...goat cheese, brie, salami, and more Coronas! Cowboy's dog's name was Side, and he would swim on command in the cattle troughs and run ahead to chase the squirrels.

When we got back to the barn, Cowboy suggested that we race around a small track that he keeps free of debris and squirrel holes. I was a little nervous, but took off after him anyway. Wow...we ran the track at a full gallop twice and I could have kept going and going. I love the exhilaration that comes with being on a horse. And the horses were so well trained that for a moment I felt like a true cowgirl : )

I can't image a better way to spend the day. I was pretty sad to come home on Sunday and had to remind myself that I can go up there anytime and ride. And hopefully someday I'll be living on small ranch with a few horses, a "race track," streams, squirrels, and a great guy to share it with. Until then I'm dreaming of my next trip to Santa Ynez...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Studio on the Sand - Beach Sheik

I'm so excited about my new place that I had to change my blog layout : ) It's taken a while to settle in, but I finally have some pictures to post. Peaceful and serene is the best way to describe it...I fall asleep to the sound of the waves and I make sure I'm home every night for the sunset. On the day I moved in, dolphins were right outside my living room window...stellar. And the sailboat regattas are pretty spectacular too. Here's my sandbucket full of photos:

My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected.

My neighbor gave me this table for's not "outdoor" proof, but I'm hoping it lasts through the summer! I wasn't much of a wine drinker until now...

Cozy living room...I love small spaces.

Life is Better at the Beach

A few of my favorite shells & rocks collected over the years - I bought the Oregon dolphin one on the left at Cannon Beach...still my favorite beach of all time.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

I've always wanted a comfy chaise...this is an IKEA bargain with a shell embellished pillow from Target...perfect for a post vball nap : ) My silver sandals are a reminder of my Cabo vacay.

To find a seashell is to discover a world of imagination.
My IKEA coffee table is now ocean glam! I displayed my favorite travel photos with cute beach plaques from Ross, a TJ Maxx glass bowl and some gorgeous shells.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

This is my favorite sunset picture so far...I love that the beach is usually deserted in the evenings.

The best time to reflect on the course of your life is when you are near water, such as the ocean, a quiet pond, or a small stream.

I've had this dresser since I was a little girl...I painted it black, sprayed the knobs silver, and it's almost vintage now. I added a few photos of the castles of the Loire, a pink chocolate tin from France, and a mirror I found at Ross.

Maryanne Radmacher is one of my favorite inspirational writers, and the artwork on the right is a defining life quote for me - "I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." I always think of my time in South Africa when I look at it.

On the beach, you can live in bliss.

The lotus flower is my one of my favorites because I'm working on a park project where the lotus beds have significant historical value dating back 100 years. I topped it off with a porcelain shell bowl ($10 TJ Maxx find) filled with beachy washcloths.

I found this super cute IKEA chair cover in eggshell definitely updated my Poang chair without looking cheap.

I finally got rid of my double bed and invested in a Queen with a REAL bed reminds me of some of the B&Bs I've stayed in. The lamp is a favorite that I found at Marshalls for $20!. The nightstand is another "vintage" piece from my childhood. Duvet - Bed Bath & Beyond Lantana with with embroidered green leaves. Botanic prints - Kohls. I also used a french liquor bottle as a vase to hold pink flowers.

These frames showcase some of my favorite castles of the Loire Valley. Ode to Marshalls, Max, and Ross for cheap sheik housewares!

I fell in love with these dishes when I saw them online.,default,pd.html?cgid=BCOMB. Added sea blue sequined placements for $1 ea.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

To unpathed waters, undreamed shores

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Many Frogs?

I was in a really good mood last week and met a guy named "Mark" at our local music spot. He was confident and came right up to introduce himself. We had 2 great dates...the first one I challenged him to the sand dune hill. He's pretty fit, but he still couldn't quite keep up. No problem though...he has a great personality and was pretty laid back. We finished it off with lunch, mimosas, and a walk on the beach.

We had our 2nd date (gasp!) on Monday night. He texted me to say, "I'm packed and ready for my trip. Cancel your plans tonight because I'm coming down to see you." Wow. Now that's what a girl likes to hear : ) It's been a while since I've had REAL dates...sometimes I think that dating is old news. I tend to meet more guys through friends of friends, vball, etc. Nevertheless, it's nice to meet a guy who knows HOW to date, as funny as that sounds. He brought over wine, homemade hazelnut beer, and a little gift. I told him that my hands are calloused from weights at the gym, and he brought a pair of pink weight lifting guy is super thoughtful. He checked out my new beach pad and we cracked open the beers. Any guy who loves seafood is a "catch", and we had a relaxing dinner on the harbor : ) We finished it off with listening to the waves over wine at my place.

So this is where I'm supposed to have butterflies and can't stop thinking about him. Ummm...nope. So this is where I play 80s love songs and walk around with a smile all day? Nah. And I'm looking at my phone every minute? Negative. Unfortunately I'm not into him, which is annoying considering the fact that he did ALL the right things a guy should do. It's a combination of things...I'm not that attracted to him, our personalities are almost TOO MUCH alike (we're both perfectionists), and there are significant cultural differences. So at this point I'm wondering how many frogs do I have to kiss before Mr. Right comes along? I'm proud of myself about keeping an open mind and letting things happen...I've had enough bad dates to know that this is closer to what I'm looking for in a guy. Someone who's spontaneous, can call his own shots/take charge, and is fit, funny, and smart. So I'm dedicating this post to Mark, the guy who reminded me that they are out there and sometimes frogs aren't so bad either.

How many frogs did y'all have to kiss before finding a good one?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back from a Blog Break!

I can’t believe that I’m 6 months into my plan and things are going well…really well. My goal back in November was to be in shape for volleyball season. Volleyball is one of the few sports that I LOVE. I never thought that I'd be living at the beach, hopping on my beach cruiser, and meeting up with friends play volleyball on the weekends. Not to mention the fact that it’s a great workout and a very social sport. As I headed to class on Thursday (classes are the best way to meet new people), I was a little nervous. My friends were meeting me there, but I wasn’t sure who would be returning from last summer. It turns out that almost everyone was new. There were quite a few people (50 or so), and everyone was really nice. I had a blast meeting new people and refreshing my skills. I’m proud to say that I’m in pretty good shape now and the drills, which are somewhat challenging, were a piece of cake! Put a checkbox next to the goal of being fit for vball season : ) We all went out to the local beach bar afterwards and had a great time. I can’t wait until the next class this Thursday.

I am officially addicted to the sand dune workout. The first time I climbed it, I was able to go up 6 times and it was BRUTAL! Three weeks ago I climbed it 10 times!!! This was a more recent goal of mine, and I was able to repeat it the following weekend. Unfortunately my feet are really torn up and I only went up 5 times on Sunday. So I’ll have to take a little break from my addiction for the feet to rebound : )

I’m really proud to have stuck with it…I still have no idea if I hit my weight goal and I really haven’t thought about stepping on scale. I’m happy when I’m dripping with sweat after a 2 hour workout. I look forward to cooking with fresh foods. And I'm ecstatic when I reach the top of the dune after the 10th climb and I feel like I could keep going. Since I’m in a good place on the health front, it’s difficult to write about my health and fitness on a daily basis. Thankfully working out and eating right is a way of life for me again…there’s not much exciting news about hitting the gym, what I ate, small milestones, etc. And I’m bored with reading about what other people ate and calorie counts. I still love reading blogs that are about life and stories, love stories, career stories, etc. So for now I’ll refocus my blog : ) My first topic is...

Beach Bungalow Design
In two weeks I’ll be moving into a super neat apartment. I’ve had my share of pests/rodents in the tiny, garage-conversion I’m in now. So I’ve decided to step it up a notch and get a bigger place. Those of you who live near LA know that it’s really hard to find the perfect apartment, especially near the beach. I knew the minute I walked in that it was meant to be. It has a full ocean view, bigger kitchen, dishwasher, and washer/dryer. It’s a studio, but I’ve come up with some creative ways of designing the space (stay tuned) and would love your input. I’m obsessed with,, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls. I have so many ideas and can’t wait to move in in 2 weeks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bored with blogging & ups and downs

Yep, I'm bored with blogging (gasp). There hasn't been much new to report this week. I don't talk about it much, but my lupus started to flare last Sunday, and I've been sleeping 12 hours a night to recover & make it to work in the morning. My joints are sore and all I can think of is sleep. So I've been bummed on the fitness front, but hopefully that will change starting tonight (gym time). In the meantime, I had 2 extreme days this week...thought I'd share how funny it is when days go from fine to horrible and then great...just like that.

Monday - I had the day off so I slept in and started cleaning my apartment. As I searching for info. to complete my taxes, I found a check that hadn't been cashed. As I read the amount, $902.41, I couldn't believe it! Right below it it said "VOID after 180 days." It had been almost a heart sank. I'm really good at managing my finances, and I couldn't believe I never cashed my escrow reimbursement after selling my condo last year. I honestly thought I couldn't cash it now or get the money. It ruined my whole morning until I called the bank. Dummy me...of course they were able to reissue the check. Woo hoo. The day went from bad to good in an instant.

Today - I call my boss W*** the Weasel (terrible, I know). He steals ideas from other departments and asks his staff (me) to recreate the concept and pitch it as our own. Today he was especially sly and forwarded me the design concept of someone I really respect. Of course I'm supposed to reinvent this wheel and put my name on it. No can do, boss. I discussed it with a trusted co-worker and I made some off-handed remarks about W*** (something I RARELY do in the office). I take a lot of pride in being a hardworker and coming up with my own ideas/concepts. I didn't realize it, but it turns out that several managers were in a nearby cube. My co-worker thought they could hear us, and my jaw fell open. Did they hear us? Yikes. One of the mgrs came over a few minutes later and acted as if he heard everything. My blood started to boil and my day was ruined. I was so disappointed in myself for letting my guard down and venting. (Although I will note that W*** has a terrible reputation in our dept.) To make a long story short, I did some damage control with the mgr after lunch...asking for advice and whatnot. Turns out he didn't hear a thing. Thankfully he knows me well enough (I keep a VERY low profile and W*** is the toughest one to work for) and reassured me that even if he had heard the conversation, "it's probably nothing I haven't heard already." Whew. Another good lesson learned.

Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A World Away from LA

So what the heck am I doing in LA?  That was my question after driving down a dirt road in the Santa Ynez Valley.  Chugging a Coors Light to calm the nerves, I wondered what this little adventure would be like.  Sure enough, the 3 guides were pretty uh rugged hot.  And all engaged.  Shucks!   I had high hopes anyway...some other people showed up & we had a group of 10 or so... 2 pro surfer girls, a photographer, a wealthy ranch owner and his girlfriend, and 2 random guys.  So much for a laid back camping trip!  Other than that, the scenery was breathtaking...vineyards, green hills, and wildflowers.  We were one ranch over from Neverland...seriously. The cattle drive part was pretty was fun being on a horse and figuring out how to direct the cattle (including a huge white bull!). A bunch of people showed up for the branding (I guess it's a big deal when cows are stamped and castrated...ewww) and there was a bbq afterwards.  I made a connection with one of the guys who said I can come out and ride anytime.  This made my day...I'll be back up there as soon as I can get my butt out of this cubicle again.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cows and Camping

Thanks for all your comments...yes, as usual I'll continue to politely ignore her pushy tactics : ) Too bad, 'cause she now has one less client!

I'm really excited for tomorrow. It turns out that they're offering an overnight campout with the trip. I know it won't be true "roughing it" with dirt camping in the woods, but I can't wait to sleep in a tent and have the guides cook gourmet meals (I remind myself that this is still California after all!). I'll drive up tomorrow, ride all afternoon on the cattle drive, stay up late by the campfire, and do wine tasting on Saturday. The guide promised me it would be a fun group and that I'd have lots of riding time. This is the photo from the website..he he. Just what I need...get me out of LA already :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ms. Bootcamp is a sales stalker

I received a 4th email yesterday from my former trainer ("Ms. Bootcamp"), and I'd like to share it : ) Some of you guys may remember earlier postings where she was super pushy to get me signed up on a 2-3 times/wk training program. She was a good trainer, but way too aggressive and never gave me any info. so I could continue training on my own. Since then, it's been a polite battle every time I see her at the gym. I HAVE considered training again, but I'm now ruling it out because she's not being very professional. Ugh...enough pestering already! (My thoughts in bold).

Hi Laura! It good to see you at the gym working out from time to time. (from time to time???...uh, more like when I see you at the gym almost every night and politely say hello...working my ass off without your help) I hope you are doing well. I meant to get in touch with you again to see how things are going for you and to follow up on the conversation that we had earlier this week. You had asked me then and a few times before if I had some 7 and 8's open for training because you said that you wanted to get back on a training program with me. I told you yes, I do as of now. But then, you changed your answer and went back to the financial thing. (Uh, yeah because you charge a FORTUNE, you're too sales pushy, and I can do this on my own!) So let me know when you are going to start up. It end of march, and I know that you said in Feb/Jan that you wanted to start up in March. (Thanks for reminding me, but this sales pitch is getting OLD). Let's not wait any longer (-; Let's get the ball rolling! (-; It's your program, you decide how successful you want to be and I'll be your guide! (-; (That's right, I've chosen to be successful and save a few dollars in the process.) Take Care, Natalie (Please leave me alone already).

Any advice on how to respond? Or not at all?

Cattle Drive!

Lately I've been really missing horseback riding. I called my instructor, but the lessons are only in the ring...there's no potential for trail riding. I decided to wait a few days to decide if that's what I really want (lessons are a little pricey). As I was checking my facebook yesterday, I spotted an ad that said "wine tasting on horseback near Santa Barbara." Since I have a four day weekend coming up, I checked out the website and it looks amazing. It turns out that they need at least 2 people to do the wine tasting tour...darn...none of my friends can make it (most of them aren't interested in horseback riding anyway). And a gorgeous cowboy hasn't been in the picture since I left Oregon : (

Then he mentioned that I could come along for a cattle drive. Huh? They have cattle in Santa Barbara? (Well, it's actually closer to wine country). Woo hoo. Oh my gosh. Yep, that's was what I was thinking. Turns out that the guide is a former polo player and just started the business., he's very very handsome. Just when I thought it was going to be another beach weekend at home, I got restless and found this opportunity. Gotta love it...I've always said you have to make life happen : ) So this cowgirl's headed up to SB Friday morning...gettin' out of the city and back on a horse. The solo spontaneous adventures continue! Wish me luck : )

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Detox Tuesday

I’m back from a mini break…last week was all about late nights, eating crap, and drinking too much. Somehow I managed to avoid a trip to Vegas this past weekend and fit in a few lackluster workouts, but I still haven’t quite put myself back together. Laundry was building, taxes looming, and I chose sleep over getting things done. I’m finally starting to have more energy today, so I need to start pushing my limits again. Volleyball starts in 3 weeks, so it’s a great motivator. And it’s supposed to be 77 degrees this week!!! I have 4 days off, so the timing is perfect for working out and relaxing. I might check out a few local spots like the Getty Villa.

I went to see Duplicity with friends last night…good but not great. I’m not a huge Clive Owen fan, but I’m a sucker for these type of flicks. Yes, my movie dry spell seems to be ending.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Feel Good Wednesday

Some things I’m loving this week:

Peanut butter pancakes

Vintage black and white heels

My co-workers (I finally found a few that I can relate to…government is a strange, strange world!)

Orange tic tacs

Pillows…threw a few extra fluffy ones on my bed and have slept better all week

Lack of a hangover….what?! All that green beer & staying out late didn’t wreck my Wednesday like I thought it would…weird.

Biological clock – I held my co-worker's newborn thinking “I want one of these little guys.” Sigh.

Going to work every day - grateful for employment

My complete lack of focus on diet/exercise. I need a short break : )

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My weekend - stellar & melodic with lots of surprises

I have to write this post late tonight so I remember what a stellar weekend it was. I just came back from one of my favorite local spots for live music. I saw Joe Purdy (one of my all time favorites) there a while back and fell in love with the place. Tonight Emily Wells and Meico were playing, and I was blown away by Wells. The violin/bass combo was fantastic...I could listen to the violin forever.
Earlier today we tried out sand dune park...such a great workout! I had already done 3 climbs by the time Stefanie got there, and I ended up doing 6 The hill was really challenging...much steeper than I expected. I'll be doing this more often for sure.
On Friday I put on my boots and headed to my favorite country bar with Trisha. Everything about this bar reminds me of home. We got there too late for our line dancing lesson, but had fun watching all of the honky tonkers 2-step and slide. I'm hoping to go there more regularly to get the hang of line dancing again. Next stop on Friday night - Viper Room. Yep, LA is one crazy place...from cowboy bars to the "IT" spots in Hollywood. We met up with our friends to see their band play, but it was definitely an off night. So I spotted a cute guy, chatted it up, and gave him my number just for the heck of it. I was a little surprised when we set up an actual date for Saturday night - wow, am I actually going out with a wannabe actor who I met at a Hollywood club? Hey, it's all about spontaneous experiences, right? : ) Of course I had a backup plan just in case...

I couldn't believe it when he rolled up on Main Street in Santa Monica on a motorcycle! (Grin, grin). Now this way a great way to start the night off. Let's face it...most girls have wanted the James Dean type at one time or another, and I got mine on Saturday night. Not only was he in a leather jacket and helmet, but he was genuine, smart, and a gentleman. Turns out he's a "newbie"...just arrived from Tennessee. We had a blast. The leprechauns in town had already started celebrating St. Patricks Day at the irish pub we were at...hilarious. Good conversation, great guy, and a really fun time. The night turned out to be a short lived rainbow...unfortunately there was no pot of gold in the end for this leprechaun.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blinded by Grumpiness

Geez, I have been so grumpy this week. I must be having Cabo withdrawals! A workout or two will usually lift my spirits, but the gym hasn’t helped much. Thankfully I have tomorrow off, so I’ve decided to leave this annoyed attitude at work today when I head out the door. The sand dune is definitely on my list for the weekend, along with Strand walks, gym time, happy hour tonight, and Saturday night out with friends.
In other news, I’ve decided to get lasik in April. I have terrible vision, and I’ve been wanting the surgery for a long time. When I was diagnosed with Lupus, I was advised not to get lasik. I was really bummed because I literally can’t see a thing without glasses or contacts…I am completely dependent on them. But then I discovered that my specialist may be biased because her husband had an unfavorable outcome with his surgery. Hmmm… I’ve always been one of those people that takes the plunge before I worry myself with everything that could go wrong. So tomorrow I’m going to schedule the surgery, sign all the paperwork, and know that I will have amazing vision after April 10th! So this means that I’ll need to get plenty of sleep every night (8 hour rule), use the eye drops, and not wear contacts for 2 weeks prior (including gym time..aagh). Any lasik patients with advice?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eat Fresh

Thomas inspired me with his funny grocery store post, so I thought I’d share my Subway adventure. I’ve been bringing my own lunch for a while now, and today I just couldn’t take it anymore. I hit the joint across the street for a roasted chicken with spinach on wheat. Usually it’s packed and the SSMs (sloppy sandwich makers) are trying to take my order when I’m still 5 deep in line. That’s the only chance I get to shout at them. But today it was empty and I leisurely strolled up to place my order. Here’s the deal – I live for a good sub (usually the smoked turkey ones I make at home). I also LOVE the deli guys at Vons who take sandwich making very seriously. Every last veggie is strategically placed for a good bite. Nothing should ever fall out of the sandwich – it’s an art form really : ) The SSM was clearly not aware of the sandwich balancing act. Veggies were being dumped anywhere but on my sandwich…I knew it was hopeless. Even more hopeless was my conversation with the random guy lingering near the pop fountain, the home of my favorite sugar free lemonade.
Stranger: Wow, I’m stuck to the floor (looking down at the floor in all seriousness)
Me: (Annoyed). Yeah, this place is really clean.
Stranger: Not really. (thinks for a long second and blocks my way to the lemonade). Oh yeah, you were being sarcastic.
Me: (fake laugh). Looks like we’re stuck in Subway. They should give us free sandwiches.
Stranger: (still doesn’t get it.)
Me: (thinking he must be a fellow government employee).

So now I’m back at my desk with the Subway stench (have you noticed how it lingers?) But it sure beats another uber healthy salad…the lemonade that is. Sandwich sucked.

Workout last night was standard…1 hr training, 10 minute bike intervals (always a killer), and 20 minute elliptical. Hoping to have more positive energy tonight.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eat This, Not That

I hit a lull at work today, so I started researching food facts. I knew about the "Eat This, Not That" trend, but I've never picked up any of the books. Men's Fitness has posted somewhat of a Top 10 site that gives the Eat This, Not That low down. Check it out - I wasn't too surprised with these nutrition facts...the best part is the healthy substitute recommendations. I'm a little bummed that my Panera pumpkin muffin is in the Not That category...go figure :)

Last night I caught up on cleaning, food prep, and SLEEP! Everyone's sick around me, and I usually get that cold stuff really easily. So I persuaded myself to take a night off from the gym and recharge. I'm feeling much better today and can't wait for a super long workout.

Photolicious Blizzard

Cavy tagged me the other day to post a Photolicious photo. Perfect timing ‘cause I can’t think of anything to ramble about today. Her blog is hilarious - check it out! The tag is to pull a photo from the 6th folder of your library and the 6th photo. Here’s what turned up.

It’s a photo that I took from the chairlift on Mt. Hood 2 seasons ago. I grew up snowboarding on this mountain, and it’s notorious for blizzardy conditions. That’s what I love about it…it makes you feel like you’re really braving the elements. This trip was a really fun one because my brother, best friend, my two cousins and I all went up together for night skiing. The visibility and wind were pretty bad, so my best friend and I eventually separated from the group and took shelter in a tiny hut/pub mid way up the mountain. Two of my straps broke, so it was really tricky getting down at the end of the night. Now that I’ve gone to other places like Tahoe with better conditions, it’s crazy to think about all of those blizzard-like days and nights on Mt. Hood. But it’s still my snowboarding home : )
I know you guys can top this one...I tag Anais and La Di Dah.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was hit and miss…started with hits and ended with a miss. Friday night I had a great workout and met up with Trisha and two of her guy friends afterwards for a drink. An amaaaazing cover band was playing and we rocked out to U2 and Pearl Jam. Unfortunately I had more than 3 beers and crashed all day Saturday. On Sunday I wanted to try out the sand dune but it was a little cold out (my lame excuse). Instead I hit the gym for a marathon workout…1.5 hours strength training, 25 min treadmill workout, 50 floors on the stairclimber, and 20 min elliptical. I needed to get all the partying out of my system : )

Before I go on with my weekend, I should confess that I rarely watch movies. There…I said it. The thought of being cramped in a theater for 2 hours usually isn’t my top choice on a Friday or Saturday night. And right now I’m getting endless Blockbuster messages reminding me that I haven’t returned an old Audrey Tatou French flick I rented 3 weeks ago. I’ve been spending a lot of time with a friend of mine who works in film, and she was probably biting her tongue when I told her the last flick I saw in the theater was Sex and the City. Here’s the deal…my friends will usually pick a movie without asking me if I’d like to see it. It’s hardly ever the movie I would have picked. Anyway, I kept an open mind last night for The Wrestler even though I could think of 10 other movies I would have seen instead. I heard it was inspiring and that the acting was impressive. 2 hours later I walked out feeling depressed and agitated. There was nothing inspiring to me about this flick…a true downer with a lot of gore in my opinion…not to mention WWF meets 80s tunes and strip clubs. The acting was great, but it was hardly something I wanted to be watching before starting up another work week. So next time I’m sticking to Sunday evenings at Coffee Bean with a good book and a latte.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Springing Forward

The dreary weather is getting to me....I had a taste of summer in Cabo and I want it to be here NOW! I can't wait for long days, volleyball til sunset, and more socializing. Until then (vball starts in April), I've decided I need to mix it up. I tried the pilates group class, and it was pretty mediocre. So I'm going to hit Sand Dune park this's basically a huge sand hill that people climb for a really good workout. And it's supposed to be TOUGH. Also, I'm thinking about signing up for an adult ballet class. My posture is terrible, and I definitely lack a sense of "grace." It's only 10 bucks per class for 9 weeks....hmmm...should I try it? Thank goodness for spring forward on Sunday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fantastic Day and Food Finds

Yesterday was a really great day. I held a meeting for one of the projects I'm working on, and the report I drafted was well received. I was delighted to get this email at the end of the day from one of our political representatives -

Thank you for your wonderful thoughts and work on this. I am happy to have you manage this project - it's a project close to the Councilmember.

Ok, maybe ecstatic is a better word!!! I often say that my work is 80% dull and 20% stimulating. The great part is that the 20% can be so rewarding, especially in moments like this. Compliments aren't given out very often in the political environment I'm in, so I was particularly grateful.

I had lot of energy afterwards and finished off the day with a great workout last night. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror while strength training, and I was amazed at how strong I'm getting. After 4 months of super hard work, I look really toned. I keep reminding myself that every drop of sweat pays confidence, strength, and having more energy : )

New Food Finds:
  • I just tried the jackfruit-guava Vitamin Water. It's awesome! I don't know if I really believe the vitamin claims, but I did feel oddly relaxed afterwards
  • Dreyers slow churned yogurt blends in vanilla. I'm not a huge ice cream fan, but it's nonfat, fairly low calorie, and so tasty!
  • White chocolate nonfat latte. I never liked coffee until I tried this combo....more flavorful than a vanilla latte and so satisfying on a chilly day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Return from paradise

Cabo was amazing.  We were able to pack it all in…relaxing action adventure, eating, and partying : )  It was so beautiful there...I can't believe I'm now back home in the rain : (  Here’s some of the highlights:

Lobster, shrimp,
 guacamole, mangoritas and Pacificos every day!  Did I mention shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp (my favorite!!!)

Taking wave runners out into the ocean and seeing humpback whales close up for the first time.  I’ve waited my whole life for this…it was
 simply magical.

Partying at Passions with the bachelor party.  Not one single guy…what are the odds?!? UnFORGETable
 (inside joke)

Celebrating Trisha’s bday on a zip line hundreds of feet above the desert canyons.  Somehow
I kept my flip flops on : )

The Venus-Crescent Moon conjunction, as seen through the telescope at our villa.  Breathtaking!  Can't ask for a better bday present...

Relaxation in the cabana on Sunday after my friends left.  The new Chris Isaak CD was a
 perfect match for the setting.
The view from our terrace…wow.  

Alonso, our adorable concierge
 who made sure we had the best time. 

The tiny little airport that made us feel like we were a world
 away from home.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cabo Clock...17 hours and 5 minutes!

85 degrees in Cabo...I'm super excited! This was a really hectic week at work, which is kind of nice 'cause it will be a well deserved vacation. The weather has been overcast in LA for a few weeks now, so I'm looking forward to the sun again. Tonight I'm going to squeeze in a quick workout and the dreaded spray tan booth at Cop-a-Tan. Yes, my friends will tell you that I'm addicted to self tanning. I cannot be out in the sun, so it's one thing that I splurge on. Our flight takes off at 9:30, and I packed a super cheesy party gift for Trisha (3 Bratz pez dispensers that look like us (sorta!), red beads with chili peppers, mexican candies, cactus shot glasses, mini sunscreen, and flip flops. I'll have the flight attendant deliver it on the plane since we're in different seats : ) Adios amigos!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Countdown to Cabo!

I'm off to a much better start this week...woo hoo! It probably helps that I spent the weekend shopping for vacation stuff. Since I've slimmed down a little, I had to replace some of my baggy summer clothes. I also found a really cute pair of silver sandals with starfish on them....and they're comfortable! I'm usually horrible at putting outfits and accessories together, but this time I went out on a limb and was able to mix and match a few new pieces with what I already had. I love the polyvore website, and I feel like I've created my own vacation palette : ) My marathon shopping cut into my workouts this weekend...I took Fri/Sat off and squeezed in 30 min on the elliptical last night. So it's time to step it up this week before I leave.

With less than 3 days to go, I can't wait to just relax (oxymoron?!). This fitness/eating routine takes a lot of motivation, and I'm ready to cast it overboard for a few days. I love trying new foods on vacation...I can't wait for fresh fruit, fruity drinks, and fruits of the sea! That's it for now...hope everyone's having a good week!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Feel Bad Friday

Last night's workout seemed brutal.  I just didn't feel up to par...usually it's related to lupus if my joints are sore.  I powered through it the best I could...kept the strength training light and easy.  I wanted to bail out on cardio, but I knew it would make me feel better.  So I hit the stairmaster and elliptical.  Whew.  It's days like these that I have to trick my body into moving more than it wants to.  In the end, it usually pays off.  

Today I'm hitting the wall at work.  For once I'm super busy, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  My energy level is still low, so I "fake it 'til I make it" to the end of the's easier to force a smile than to explain how I'm really feeling. People often pick up on me being worn out and have a hard time interpreting it.  Sometimes I think it comes across as me being distant or not interested.  The truth is there are a lot of times where all I can think about is sleep.  Darn disease. The great part is that there's always a stronger day tomorrow : )  Looking forward to the weekend...anyone have fun plans?  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not so Itsy Bitsy Bikini

Last night I was a little reflective/emotional. It started when I went through my summer clothes drawer to dig out last year’s bikinis, board shorts, and sundresses. When I was a kid, I remember shopping at endless stores before family vacations to find a swimsuit that fit. One year my mom took me to a local seamstress with god awful fabrics to make a swimsuit to fit my size 16 figure. I hated that swimsuit and hated my body at age 12. I dreamed of a day where I would have a flattering shape and jet set to tropical locations with beautiful clothes to match.

A lot of people would say that all kids have baby fat, but it was more than just chubby and looking terrible in a swimsuit. I was so self conscious and unhappy that I didn’t enjoy being around water (which I’ve now grown to love). This general discomfort with my body continued into my 20s, and moving to California from Oregon after college was a shock! I started playing beach volleyball and admired girls who could throw on a bikini top and hit the beach. It doesn’t help that I severely burn in the sun (effect of Lupus) and can’t “lay out.” Thank goodness for spray tanning!

I’m still really modest, but last night as I tried on all my cute stuff, I took a step back to appreciate my body and my efforts to stay fit the last few years. I will never a figure that looks great in a bikini (small chest and a tummy that still wobbles after a zillion workouts), but at least I can put one on and like what I see. And more importantly, I can focus on having a great time poolside/beachside without being self conscious. At 28, it’s about time! I started to think how the little me back then would be so proud of where I’m at today and how hard I’ve worked to be able to "jet set" in my spare time. Check out my travel page and map here – What is your all time favorite place in the whole world and why?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I love having days off because I’m energized and have time for a full workout. Last night I focused on strength training…abs/core, kinesis, and weights. I downloaded tons of new music to keep me moving (live playlist will be added soon). It worked, because 2 hours flew by and I still had cardio to do! I was pretty worn out, but I finished with 10 minutes of bike intervals and 20 min on the elliptical. I absolutely love that exhausted/exhilarated feeling after a workout.

Trisha emailed me, and she’s planning a last minute trip to Cabo for her birthday at the end of the month. The accommodations are free, so I just had to buy my plane ticket. The photos of the resort are unbelievable...we'll be staying in a 4 bedroom villa on the beach...oh my gosh. I’m sooo excited!!! This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate with good friends, sun, and mangoritas! Adios Amigos!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

For the love of cupcakes

It's been a great long weekend so far.  I've finally been able to relax again, clean my place, and get back into my routine.  Friday I had lunch with my mom, tried red velvet cake for the first time (heavenly is the best way to describe it), and treated myself to 2 pairs of shoes.  The Decree line at JC Penny is vintage cute, cheap, and comfortable.  

I hit the gym Friday night and Saturday morning.  The strength training was good, but I had a hard time pushing myself through the cardio.  It's that time of the month where I always feel weak, so I knew it was no big deal.  I'm a little disappointed in the pilates class I signed up for.  The instructor isn't the greatest and the workout (if you can call it that) is mediocre.  I might have to go back to private sessions.  

I spent Valentines Day getting my hair done and having a girls' night.  I stopped at a new bakery called Babycakes and picked up a dozen of the cutest cupcakes ever.  I'm not even thinking about my sweets intake this weekend...cupcakes are sooo worth it!    

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Job Offer

I turned the job offer down today (sigh). They weren't willing to negotiate, and I was a little worried about the potential for advancement under the current supervisor. The position would have been right up my alley, but I had to trust my instincts. I'm a little bummed so I'll keep looking. The great part is that I have a steady job with lots of opportunity here in LA. So, time to refocus on my fitness and health goals : )

I hit the gym Mon and Tues with strength training and 30 min elliptical routines. I'm a little run down from decision making, so I'm hoping to gain momentum in my workouts later in the week. I tried grilling up tilapia on the foreman tonight, but it wasn't very tasty. Reminded me of cheap fish tacos.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I had such a fun weekend back home. I spent some time in downtown Portland before and after the interview and realized how much I miss it. The city is so unique, people are down to earth, and I found myself wanting to be there. It's trendy, but not in an LA sort of way.

I walked up to the office, and the location was amazing...right in the middle of it all and next to the waterfront. I had high hopes for the interview, but unfortunately I didn't get the best impression. My would-be supervisor seemed uneasy with the whole interview process and basically said that there would be no potential to move up unless she left the company. Yikes! As I walked out, I was not feeling like it was the best match (or that I'd even get the position). I drank a beer at Rock Bottom and tried not to think about it. I was pretty sure I wouldn't take it, but they called to offer me the position later that day. Wow. Now I started re-thinking it all over again. I told them I would let them know on Monday.

My friend Becky just bought a convertible mini Cooper, and we headed out to my little cousin's Oscar theme b-day party in style! It was such a fun night...we blasted the heat with the top down on the freeway in 50 degree weather. But our scarves and big sunglasses made it seem like we were in California. I surprised Taylor on the "red carpet" all dressed up. It was tooo cute...she didn't even recognize me at first.. There's only a few times in a girl's life where a feather boa is the perfect accessory!

I was super stressed over the weekend but tried to eat healthy. I had Steelhead for the first time over dinner with friends from high school. This fish is amaaazing. I also limited the drinking so that I'd be thinking clearly. I flew back here on Sunday and stocked up on groceries for the week. Can't wait to get back in the gym to work off the stress.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pinkberry and Portland

I was a little tired yesterday, so my workout was the bare minimum…40 min strength training and 30 min easy elliptical. I stopped by Pinkberry...uh oh… addicted!

I’m starting to get pretty nervous. Tomorrow’s interview is coming up fast. I’m definitely prepared….I’ve researched the nonprofit group and their work for weeks. There are so many ideas and discussion topics that I have stored in this nerdy brain of mine. So, I’m determined to rock this interview…as in river rocks : ) That being said, I still have to figure out if the position and the staff are a good match. I’ve waited for the right position to open up in Portland for 3 years now. So if I’m able to work with a great team for a cause that that truly focuses on river restoration, then I’m going to jump in head first. I’m taking the night off from working out to focus and pack.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crazy Good

I didn’t work out Monday, so I turned up it up a notch for my workout last night. I got to the gym at 7:15 and left at 9:30! I rocked my way through 80 minutes of strength training (10 min stretching, 20 min core, 30 min free weights, and 20 min kinesis). Since I don’t want to spend more money on training sessions, I vowed to pump up the cardio on my own. I started with a 5 minute warmup run and climbed 50 floors on the stairmaster. The last 5 floors were excruciating!!! There is something about this realistic stairclimbing machine that kicks my butt every time. I finished it off with 30 min on the elliptical. I love pushing myself after a recharge day…it usually turns out to be a “crazy good” workout.

OMG! I was able to RUN for 5 minutes on the treadmill without discomfort. This seems like hardly anything at all, but my knees are damaged from training too hard at age 16 and having a running injury that same year during the Hood to Coast Relay. Usually when I run for 3-5 minutes, one of my knees will start to lock up. I would give anything to be able to run long distance again, but I know it may not ever happen…I’ve had multiple trainers, X-Rays, PT, etc. So tonight was another small victory : )

Aside from training, I’m loving my fit & fresh containers…so fun and easy to pack healthy snacks. The only problem is I usually chow through them by 11am! That’s ok though ‘cause I’m started to cut back what I’m eating in the afternoon and evening. I prefer to work out really hard, so I’m not too worried about my calorie intake. It’s more about eating all healthy stuff and fewer processed snacks. I have to admit that this process is HARD...completely changing the way I'm eating, pushing myself to the max at the gym, and prepping food a lot. But it's really really satisfying to have more energy and start to see changes! I love this poster...check it out : )

Monday, February 2, 2009

Commuter Express

I started taking the commuter bus to work again (my car’s in the shop, so I pretty much had to!). The great part is that it picks up a block from my apartment, it’s free (employer pays), and I get some exercise in. The bad part is that I have to walk 8 blocks through the scummy part of downtown in the evening. And the air quality is really bad on warm the time I reach the bus stop, I feel like a walking exhaust pipe. I can’t complain too much though, because I was able to get a great view of the sunset as the bus followed the coast towards home. I was pretty worn out and sore tonight so I had dinner and went to bed early. I tried Greek yogurt…ick. Too sour for my taste, even with berries mixed in. Oh, and go Team Black!

Super Workout Sunday

I stuck to my game plan this weekend…lots of exercise, healthy eating, and catching up on housework stuff. Yesterday I skipped the Superbowl altogether and hit the gym instead. There was only 1 other person working out! I was pretty worn out, so I kept it simple with 1 hour training and 30 min elliptical. I finally figured out how to use my teeny little gas stove (my apartment is really tiny), so I tried out a container of egg whites that I picked up a while back. Even though they look a little strange, the egg whites are pourable and keep for months. The spinach omelette with mozzarella was delicious! This will be a great way to cook up leftover veggies.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fit & Organized

I had a date with Equinox last night : )  I dressed up for the occasion in a baseball cap and Nikes.  It was exactly what I needed..40 flights of stairclimber, a little strength training, and the elliptical.  I reached that exhausted but exhilarated level...drenched in sweat and feeling good.  

This morning was my first group pilates session.  The studio is right down the street, and the people in the class were really friendly.  It's not as intense as my sessions at the gym, but it's a nice waker upper on a Saturday morning.  Duyen and I took our beach cruisers out and had a simple lunch at a neighborhood cafe.  My grilled chicken sandwich was soooo tasty & I managed to avoid the french fries.

Since I'm a crazy perfectionist (and trying to stay busy on a 
Saturday night), I thought it might be fun to get organized, track my workouts visually, and make note of eating habits.  So I headed to Ross and Target and found the cutest stuff - Fit and Fresh food containers, a Real Simple calendar where I can track my workouts w/colorful tabs, an erasable magnetic calendar for the fridge, and 2 journals.  I highly recommend these Fit-Fresh containers...genius!  I also found a great alternate to my boring Total cereal -   Kashi's Go Lean crunchy fiber twigs, soy protein grahams, and honey puffs.  It's filling but not too sweet.  For dinner tonight I grilled up some salmon on the Foreman and added brown rice and broccoli.  

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fantastic Friday

Today was a great day.  I woke up early and hit the Strand for a beach walk....tried not to think about how much I'll miss the ocean if I move to Portland.  Later on I met my mom for lunch.  I love spending time with her...we're really close and I can talk to her about anything.  We shared a tasty seafood salad (one of my favorites with lots of shrimp and crab) on the outdoor patio and I had to tell her that I'll be accepting the position if it's a good fit.  I'm not sure she was ready to hear that (sigh).  I'll keep thinking it through during my workout tonight.  For dinner I made a colorful salad with herb chicken, ricotta, red pepper, spinach, and balsamic vinaigrette...mmmm.  I'm also loving garlic hummus with low fat triscuits. 
P.S. Happy Hour on No Gym Thursday was not so happy : (  Political gossip and "who's who in LA politics" talk killed it...I felt completely uncomfortable and insecure since I'm not "in the know." I'll try solo in the City next time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday Thursdays

Thank goodness its Thursday! (Today is really my Friday b/c I have a 9/80 schedule). I'm really excited about checking out the Edison, and obviously not in the mood to work super hard considering I've posted twice today! Anyways, I ran an errand near City Hall today and came across a great discovery - there's a fresh food market on Thursdays. Woo hoo! That reminds me that there's also a Wednesday market in the business district. I had completely forgotten about this. This is the first really warm day we've had in a while (80ish!), and City Hall was stunning in the blue sky (pic post tomorrow). I'm definitely going to extend my lunch breaks on Thursday, hop on the DASH bus, and stock up on fruits and veggies.

On another note, it snowed again in Oregon. My BF Becky mentioned going up to the mountain when I'm up there next weekend. Woo hoo! I hope the weather holds and we'll get a chance to go snowboarding. Thanks for all the comments...I'm officially a blog addict thanks to you guys : )

First No Gym Thursday

Today is No Gym Thursday. Unfortunately I woke up late and had to rush out the door. I usually don’t dress up too much for work, but I wanted to wear a really cute red dress for Happy Hour. Oh well…I’m going to have to settle for the no shower look today…ugh : ( I branched out and invited a girl from work that I don’t know very well (the only person I work with in the 30ish/single zone)...we’ll see how it goes.  I'm hoping to have a good time with friends, hopefully get to know a co-worker, and enjoy downtown.

Unfortunately it was also No Gym Wednesday last night...put on my clothes, got in the car, and didn't have the energy. So I had way too many carb snacks instead and went to bed early. It’s ok though…I needed the sleep and I have a 3 day weekend ahead. The weather is supposed to beautiful, so I’m hoping to spend most of my time walking on the beach (maybe some running if my knees will take it) and hitting the gym. Or maybe I’ll break out my beach cruiser for a ride along the Strand. I bought this bike last summer and I'm so in love with it! I’m staying away from the nightlife this weekend…that’s always hard for me to do because I’m not much of a homebody and my friends always go out on Saturday nights. Pilates starts on Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Me" Reminder - I'm a cowgirl at heart

I usually have mid-week burnout on Wednesdays, so today I decided to post reminders of when I've felt really strong and alive. As I prepare for the Portland interview next Friday, I'm hoping these memories will encourage me to always go after things that really matter.

In September I took a solo trip to the Lazy L&B Ranch in Wyoming - something I had dreamed of doing as a kid. Every morning our wrangler Claire would lead us on one challenging trail ride after another. When we reached wide open spaces, we would coax our horses into a steady lope. Thank goodness for all of those horseback riding lessons!

On the last ride of my trip, I gave my horse some extra rein and tapped him for a little get up and go. He took off at a full gallop, and it was the most exhilarating feeling. For some reason he spooked as he passed the horse in front of us and he took off like off like a lightning bolt! I fell to the side but still managed to hang on to the reins. I clung to that horse for 1/2 a mile, riding side saddle with one arm the whole way.

Thankfully he gradually slowed down after climbing up a hill. I remember sliding off gracefully while holding the reins, fearing he would bolt again. I'll never forget the look in that horse's eyes standing there on that hill. Claire, our wrangler who saw the whole thing unfold, hurried up to me. I was shaking but smiling at the same time. She said that I should have punished him immediately. That was the furthest thing from my mind...that horse made me feel more alive than I've ever been. In that instance, he represented everything that I strive to be - strong, powerful, and beautiful.

Quote of the Day: "For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Small Victory

Before I left work yesterday, the nonprofit called to offer a 2nd interview in person. I’m surprised because I didn’t feel very confident with the initial interview. So now I’ve completely switched gears from thinking about my cheesy date (and lack of a follow up text or call) to a more important matter – if I were to get the job, am I ready to move back to Portland?

I hit the gym and sweated through a 30 minute core workout, more strength training including dips and pull ups (my weak factor), 10 minutes of bike intervals at RPM over 110 (such a killer!), and my standard elliptical routine. Thankfully I discovered a few new songs to get me through my workout.
Warm up/Cooldown – Now and Always (David Gray is my all time favorite!)
Strength training – Get on Your Boots (new U2 song)
Intervals – Mausam & Escape (Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack)
Elliptical – Paper Planes DFA Remix, Disturbia, Live your Life

I'm still having trouble with overeating in the evening, but I'm hoping that these strenuous workouts will make up for it. Despite some carb loading now and then, I can see that my tummy area is finally toning up a little. And the good news is that my favorite work pants fit this morning! I put on a really cute pair of heels and a turquoise scarf to celebrate this little victory. It's definitely worth all of the hard work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Weekend - from Mediyolkre to Eggscellent

I had one of those weekends where I wished it were still Sunday. It started out with dinner on Friday night with Stef. We caught up on dating stories (or lack thereof!) and trying different “scenes” in LA…Stef’s now my partner in crime for No Gym Thursday. I crashed pretty early after watching What not to Wear (the best show ever!). Saturday morning I hit the beach for an hour walk. It was cold and crisp and felt great to be outside…I realized how much I miss my Strand walks after being sick last week.

Saturday afternoon I had my last training session with Ms. Bootcamp. I was still feeling groggy even after my morning walk, so I had to mentally psyche myself up beforehand. It was a tough workout, but not too exhausting. The kinesis machine is perfect for combining strength training with a little bit of cardio. I was feeling great afterwards and did another half hour of core training, 10 minutes on the stairmaster (the one that has real steps…I climbed 50 floors!), and 30 minutes on the elliptical. I set a record of being at the gym for 2 and a half hours…now that’s crazy good!

Duyen and I had plans to go out in Manhattan Beach for dinner and to our favorite martini bar that night, so I did a little shopping beforehand. I was bummed after trying on a zillion things in the Guess store and nothing fit. That’s the worst feeling, especially after a tough workout earlier. I shook it off and headed to Brass Plum and found the cutest pair of black skinny jeans and a few accessories. I paired the jeans with a trendy top and black heels and felt really great before heading out.

Dinner was hilarious and annoying at the same time. 3 overly loud Italian guys were sitting next to us at the bar and proceeded to serenade us with Dean Martin songs. It was super embarrassing because the tiny restaurant was packed, but somehow really charming at the same time. Wayne, our strikingly handsome bartender, made a magical drink out of champagne and Chambord. As it bubbled over, Johnny H (yep, that was the Italian’s name) said that it meant I would have good luck (hmmmm…). I felt like I was on vacation in my own town.

The Italians were a little too rowdy, so we left and headed over to Upper Manhattan. I was instantly attracted to a cute guy sitting at the bar and we ended up talking for the rest of the night. His name is Jeff, and it just so happens that he lives a few blocks from my apartment. Anyway, he invited me to breakfast Sunday morning…I’ll admit that I was a little overwhelmed by it all…it’s been a while since I’ve had that butterfly feeling...see egg photo :) During breakfast we tried to come up with names for the restaurant’s naming contest. Since our omelettes were terrible, Jeff suggested “Mediyolkre.” He he he. Genius : ) As he dropped me off, I realized how much I wanted to see him again. So later that night I sent a text thanking him. [Cheesy alert]: he replied back, “Glad you didn’t think it was mediyolkre.” So cute, so I replied, “It was eggscellent…hope we can do it eggain soon.” Now I’m crossing my fingers for a 2nd date. Aaagh…the agony of dating. I’m going to channel all of this nervous energy into my workouts this week.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Solo in the City - No Gym Day

This may seem a little funny, but I'm going to designate Thursday as No Gym Day. Here's the reason why...I'm a single gal working in downtown LA, and I keep wondering why I'm not meeting many professional people with similar interests (aka guys). I commute from downtown to the beach where I live every night, and being at the gym 5 days a week isn't helping much in the dating department. To bring myself out of the social duldrums, I'm going to try Happy Hour solo in the City. I don't have many friends who work downtown, and I've found that I'm much more approachable when I'm by myself. So for the next month I'm going to try 3-4 different scenes:
1. Library Bar - a literary-minded lounge offering a sophisticated drinking space and after-work social scene
2. The Edison (bloggers are calling it the WOW spot in downtown...a vintage, professional vibe with amazing cocktails and cabaret/theater/circus shows)
3. Lakers Game at the new LA Live ESPN Center or Yardhouse Brew Pub
4. The Edison again (supposedly it's THAT good!!!)