Sunday, October 31, 2010

Austin: Part 2 and 3

My sweet and bubbly college roommate was married to the Texas man-of-her-dreams last night. It was a beautiful night at a beautiful venue and I couldn't be happier for both of them!

Congrats Mr. and Mrs. B!!

Spent today in Austin with my best friend and best friend's husband/my brother (in all but blood). Started out at LadyBird Lake!

Squirrels everywhere! This one was quite indignant as I was too close to his nuts. (groan...)

Moved on to 6th Street... which was much less festive at noon. after Halloween Saturday. As noted by 'brother' : " It smells like stale beer out here. You know. Like when we first open the bar after a crazy Saturday night?"

Still beautiful, though!

Had lunch at Bikini's Sports Bar (fish tacos sans tortilla and steamed veggies with a side of over-exposed wait staff... yikes!) and hit up South Congress Ave.

I would like to throw out there that I would move here JUST to be closed to South Congress Ave.

Followed it up with an attempt to see the Congress Ave bats fly out from the patio at TGI Fridays. Missed the bats, but our server hooked us up with great food and a dear old friend from years ago.

How I have missed you!

I'm probably hunkering down for the night. Lots of walking today and lots of driving and I am kinda tired. I am on my own tomorrow to explore and can't wait to hit up one of the amazing hiking/biking trails for a great run and some bootcamp-style sweat!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Austin: Part 1

Today has been fabulous, quite honestly.

Even with U.S. Airways booking me on a flight to Austin from Phoenix that boarded at the same time my flight from San Jose landed. At a gate at least a mile away. Cardio: Part 1.

Fortunately, I am cheap... ahem... a planner and had packed a vegan protein cookie, an apple and a water bottle for lunch. Munched it happily while cozied up in the Red Bull can that flew us from Phoenix to Austin and started in on this. (I am hosting a book club the day after I get back from my adventure! How literary, right!?)

Landed in Austin and rented myself a car! It's adorable and red and the first car I've rented since I came of "car rental age." I passed 21... a few years ago...and thought I was all out of coming-of-age milestones. NOPE! Driving out of the Budget car rental lot in my little red Honda gave me that "Woo Hoo! I'm an adult!" feeling all over again. *giggle*

Because I am (again) a planner, I had the address for the nearest Golds Gym in my itinerary, and it felt SO. GOOD. to sweat after being cooped up in a plane all day.

3 sets:
24# Kettlebell Thrusters x 10 R / 10 L
10 Pushups

24# Kettlebell Wood Chopper Lunges x 10 R / 10 L
BOSU Twisted Mountain Climbers

40 # Cable Tricep Press x 15
10# Cable Lateral Shoulder Raise x 10

20 lazy-ish minutes on the Arc trainer for the sake of stretching my legs while "reading" Seinfeld on the closed captioned TVs and it was time to shower and hit up 6th Street!

Remember that "coming of age" thing? I feel old :) Somehow "Free Cover! Flaming Doctor Peppers and Jager Bombers for $3!" just didn't grip me like it used to.

I opted for El Sol y La Luna for Tofu Tacos and a Negro Modelo instead. They had a great Mariachi band playing and - for the first time, really - I really enjoyed Mariachi. The pizzacato violins and bubbly baseline was happy, rather than just blaring. It was a great chance to apply the "100%" practice. No book. No cell phone. No busywork. Just sat and ate and drank and watched the lights on the bar change from soft red to blue to white, listened to the band and let my thoughts wander through my delicious tofu tacos.

Settled in to Starbucks for some online business development/networking and a Decaf Soy Misto before E&J come in ... then it's down to Kyle for Katie's wedding!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


As personal trainers, we tell our clients to give 100%. Even 110% if the occasion calls for it. But when it comes to not working. not working out. not appplying... how often do what we do one hundred percent?

I am reading a beautiful book on meditation and compassionate living called Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron. Yesterday's chapter was overwhelmingly existential, but what caught my eye was this passage:

"Whatever we're doing, whether we're having tea or working, we could do that completely. We could be wherever we are completely, 100%"

I multitask pretty much all the time. Checking emails and blogs while I eat my breakfast, cleaning the kitchen while I talk to B, talking on the phone while I drive my car. I get a lot done that way. But it always seems that I miss something B said, or I didn't quite taste that smooshy egg center or I forget to send dad an address I promised over the phone.

So, lately, I have discovered a fondness for a simple breakfast of a softboiled egg in my childhood egg cup and a piece of fruit. Today I closed my computer, put away my pen and to-do list. And just ate breakfast. 100%. That smooshy egg center and crisp pear have never tasted so peaceful.

It's easy to give 100% when in meditation. Or even when working. Those things should demand all of our attention and presence. But in the rest of the space - in the "living" part of life. It's even more important. Because those are the moments that define our hearts and our paths. 100%.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ginger-Lemon Infusion + Curried Pumpkin Hummus

Just got home from teaching a great yoga class to a wonderful group of ladies. I am so happy to be teaching again!

Hit up Gold's before that for a round of (among other things) hack-squats, deadlifts, body-weight rows, bent-over rows and more fun than you can shake a stick at. Yummy.

Had a request from a friend-from-far-away to elaborate on a passing mention of things that were worth far more than a passing mention!

Lori had an I am Cozy (read: winter in a mug) at Cafe Gratitude the other night that smelled AMAZING. And despite my willingness to drive to Cupertino Whole Foods on a nightly basis to procure this concoction, if I did, I would be more broke than a new home-based business owner (wait...)

Hence, this:

Ginger-Lemon Infusion

2 cups boiling water
1" piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 thin slices of fresh lemon

Peel and grate the ginger (remember the freezer trick? now is the perfect time to apply.) so you have about 2-3 teaspoons worth and drop into the bottom of a french press.

Pour boiling water over the ginger and let it sit. For a while. 10 minutes or so, depending on how much ginger you like.

Plunge the french press, pour and squeeze in the lemon!

(Don't let the lemon sit in the water for long or the rinds will make it bitter) Add a little honey if you'd like- but the spicy ginger is amazing by itself!

Curried Pumpkin Hummus

1 can chickpeas, un-drained
1/4 c canned pumpkin
1-2 tsp curry powder (I love curry. Be judicious... some powders are really spicy)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic
1/8 c greek yogurt (optional - I'm dairy-free right now, so I used almond milk)

Pour off the liquid from the chickpeas and reserve, then rinse the peas, drain them, and dump in your food processor. Add pumpkin, curry powder, garlic, lemon juice and 2-4 Tablespoons of liquid.

BLEND! scrape sides. BLEND! scrape sides. Curse at blender. Scrape sides again.

(Skip this step if you have a food processor that is run by more than one gerbil-power. we have established that my car and our blender/s-blade processor have the same amount of torque. none.)

Scrape the sides and assess the consistency. Add in the greek yogurt (or almond milk). BLEND!

Assess the consistency again. Keep adding very small amounts of reserved liquid until you get the creamy delightfulness you want!

There are no pictures of this as I ate it. All of it. Use your imaginations.


Also! I've been a total slacker and amateur blogger. Lori is hosting a giveaway to CSN stores over at What Runs Lori... go get you some!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Travelin' Fool!

The weekend was dreary and rainy and cold. And wonderful.

Saturday: Led a wonderful hike with a great group of people up Rhus Ridge. Promised one big hill. Delivered two. I aim to please. Followed it up with a trip to an awesome produce stand. Local. Organic. A whole bag of it. $12.

Sunday: nada. zip. zilch. a whole day of book reading, meditating, tea-drinking, movie-watching nothin' Oh. and I made an Indian food feast. Samosas with dipping sauce. Channa Masala. Dahl. Brown Rice. Yummy dinner with a yummy husband. :) A quick, 30-minute session on the Spin Bike at the apartment gym and it was off to bed!

Just one of those weekends that makes you happy to be alive.

Monday: Whew! What a day. Headed out this morning for a walk at the Stanford Dish with a new friend (hooray, Emily!) and did about an hour of rolling hills. Felt bomb. Ran to IKEA to pick up a footstool cushion. Left with a footstool cushion and snowflake string lights. (what!? who goes to IKEA and buys one thing?)

Picked up a prescription and bananas (I swear the hubs is a monkey with all those bananas...) and got a phone call. One I thought wasn't coming. A volunteer spot at the ACE Fitness and Health Symposium opened up!

SO. Not only am I going to the nuptials of Katie and Casey with E&J... I'll be coming back through Phoenix, hanging with the sis for a one-night layover, then jetting to San Diego for a 3-day conference at the San Diego Hilton Spa and Resort!!!

Life is good.

Now. Back to business administration and networking lead follow up...

Friday, October 22, 2010


Serendipity is one of my favorite words. Being fortunate enough to unexpectedly find something amazing that was "meant to be" is pretty much the story of my life.

(Non existential reasons i like the word: it has been ranked as one of the 10 hardest english words to translate. it makes me think of giant ice cream sundaes. "serendipitous" is fun to say.)

Case in Point(s):
  • I moved to D.C. to find a job in politics: I found a husband and a passion for fitness.
  • Someone ELSE went to New Orleans: I found a friend! (Thanks, Jeanina!)

Met up with Lori of What Runs Lori at Cafe Gratitude in the WORLDS.BIGGEST. Whole Foods* last night!

Girl kicks some serious ass! A cross-fitting, raw-(un)cooking power house of an athlete with a super sweet spirit. Hooray for new friends who eat and work out like me!

I have every intention of raiding her brain over the next few weeks as she's got mad raw/vegan (un)cooking skills. In the mean time: Go get you some raw fudge recipes today.

(*Seriously. Remember the movie about the girl who lives in Walmart? I actually considered hiding in Cupertino Whole Foods bathroom until closing.

They have blankets, clothes, lavender scented everything and toilet paper. Oh. And food. I would be totally set. Also: Cafe Gratitude. Eat there. Today if not sooner. And go check out Lori's blog before that!

In other serendipity news: there was a huge, double rainbow on my way to the exam today. I briefly considered taking a photo out the window, but instead had to cross 3 lanes of traffic to take the ramp to the 101 that I almost missed. Priorities...

Workout at Golds and now - after a celebratory lunch of veggie fajitas Fiesta del Mar Too, I'm going to cuddle up on my couch (which I still have a great amount of appreciation for) and veg out before cleaning my apartment.


  • if you were wondering - you doubted me?! - i passed.
  • if you don't know the story - you haven't been reading?! - i re-certified through ACE as it's a more highly accredited organization, they take a broader range of CEC's and (frankly) i like them better.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

hallelujah, praise kale.

Attitude Yesterday: Passed the practice exam and "I am a kick-ass personal trainer with enough kung fu to pass all kinds of test!"

Today: My perfectionism got the best of my optimism and I'm in total cramming mode.
  • My living room looks like my college studio apartment + nicer furniture.
  • I dumped organic sloppy joe seasoning and a can of tomatoes on some cooked lentils, added some broccoli as a side dish and called it dinner.
  • I actually "used up" a highlighter today. It bleeds yellow no more...
  • Last night's dreams (nightmares?): An inability to do basic percentages in an applied anthropomorphic calculation while people made fun of me for being fat. (Seriously!? Enough already, Psyche. I get it!)
  • Today's nap dreams (nightmare?): I forgot to feed my cat and found her emaciated and pitifully meowing in my apartment... which was overrun with ants because I hadn't cleaned in so long. (Ambien, anyone?)
  • B has retreated to the bat cave and will only come down for vegan cookie dough.
So why, asks Amy, am I not neck deep in a bottle of red wine right now?
  • I have raw/vegan restaurant extravaganza planned tomorrow night with this gal.
  • Exam is over in 36 hours.
Hallelujah. Praise Kale.(source)

Monday, October 18, 2010

let's get it on.

Not that way, dirty!


Got it on today!

1. Was awake and productive by 8:30 despite waking up to a migraine at 2 am. Suck a toe, migraine!

2. Got my stiff-leg deadlift on. Got my full deadlift on. Got my stairmill on. Suck a toe, gravity! You shall have no hold on my tushy!

3. Portabello "steaks," roasty-toasty sweet potato chunks and steamed green beans for dinner... all from local, organic farmers at the Farmer's Market. Suck a toe, pesticide-laden grocery store produce!

4. Passed the diagnostic practice test for Friday's exam after discovering a second textbook on Friday and a combined total of 2 weeks of studying. Big sigh of relief and cheap red wine all around!! No one has to suck a toe!

No lover-ly photos to share with you today, but I will leave you with a thought.

The re-learning I've done of another organization's PT methods has been a good refresher and a new perspective on my job. I was reminded today that teaching self-efficacy is the most important factor in setting up a personal training client for success.


Put simply: having faith in yourself is the most powerful motivator for change. No amount of self-deprivation, self-hatred or negative self-talk will ever get you as far as believing in your ability.

So when you're feeling icky and your next workout seems impossible, that tough presentation at work presentation is looming or it's time to tackle an obstacle that seems insurmountable:

Build on your last success and believe in your next triumph.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wild Turkey, Deep Gultch, and Moosewood!

(that title sounds like a hunting guide... or a couple brands of cheap whiskey)

Was welcomed by these guys to Saturday morning!

Get outta the road, ya turkeys!

Hiked up this:

Then realized there was still this to climb:

(OK. It doesn't look that steep, but take my word on this one.)

It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny morning and no better way to start it out than with a heart-thumping hike up the Deep Gultch Trail at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. It takes you to the top of this magnificent hill that over looks the valley, which was shrouded in clouds yesterday, and just me, my hiking partner and the hills on the other side of the valley made it up past the clouds. It was surreal.

I rewarded myself with a skinny vanilla latte before heading to the Farmer's Market and after months of a funds-induced Starbucks drought... it was heaven in my hands!

Some studying for my ACE exam next Friday (note to self: when they send you two text books... don't put one away and forget about it) and I decided I needed a break. So B and I walked to the library.

Living within walking distance of a library might just be the best thing about my life right now. 30 min of walking in the brisk, fall air past white fences covered in bougainvillea. 30 minutes of wandering through towering stacks of books, inhaling paper and untold stories. 30 minutes of holding my hubby's hand and laughing on the way home. Probably the best hour and a half I've spent all week.

(I realized after about 2 minutes of walking around, looking for my one-per-trip trashy novel, that three of the books in my hands - including the biography I had grabbed - were about food. Hmmm...)

At about 10:00 last night, I just couldn't stand it anymore and made Spiced Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. I made a half batch... and woke up to find that only one lonely soul had made it through the late night computings of my husband.

What's in them: Whole Wheat. 72% Dark Chocolate. Olive Oil.
What's Not: Refined sugar. Eggs. Crap.

And he says he doesn't eat Vegan...

Speaking of making it through the night: I woke up this morning, tossing and turning and all kinds of mad that I was wide awake at 2 am. "What the hell!?" thought I, blaming a spiced chocolate chunk cookie sugar high. But I got up, determined to read myself back to sleep with a trashy novel.

Then realized it was 6:45 am. And the sun wasn't up.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Highlights! (well... I went darker, but...)

The most exciting thing to happen to me this week, you ask?

*giant inhale!*

I made four new friends, trained a great client, got a hair cut and color by a Redken stylist for $45, informed a very relieved toddler that his tummy ache was just "bubbles," and made mincemeat out of a Hugh Jass (read it again... quickly this time...) hill hike.

Also, I found acorn squashes for $0.99 and wine for $1.99 at Trader Joes. But who's counting?

Me, obviously.

Photo highlights (which do not include toot-y cutie patootie):

I did not take photos of new friends as that would be creepy, but you get the idea. You can also count the out-of-control ponytail in the above illustration as a "before shot."

"flash in the dirty mirror" effect... new to lightbox pro

$10 cut and $35 color at the Redken Academy for Salon Professionals.
Took about as long as DMV visit as I turned my life and my hair over to a student who was painfully slo... ahem... meticulous and did a great job.

Butternut Squash -because I already ate the acorn squash. Soon to be annihilated.
*editor's note. also ate a bunch of this squash. Really must post faster...

Love you all - if you'll be in Austin at the end of the month... See you soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

hmm... fishy...

(seriously... the last serious post for a while...
then we're back to sarcasm and mishaps...)

So this vegetarian married a meat eater and moved to California. Made mushroom lasagna. Hiked and festivaled and started a business.

And still found herself using the phrase "the mean reds" more times in the last few weeks than ideal.

So she took a look at FitDay to see what was missing from her diet: vitamins

She took a look at her phone log what was missing from her life: connections

And she took a look at herself what was missing from her attitude: grace

But a wake up call during a phone call from a very dear friend, a quick trip to Trader Joe's and a few minutes of outreach...and I think we're back in business.

Just what the doctor ordered:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: I'm using Flax Oil capsules instead of Fish Oil capsules because (quite frankly) I won't take fish oil. It's nasty. Juvenile? Yes. Honest? yes. In conjunction with the Vitamin D I get from this glorious California sunshine, we're feeling better already.

2. B Vitamin Complex: Since I'm not eating meat and eating less and less fish, I'm finding that I'm a little low in B-6 and B-12, both of which are important for brain function and energy levels! (and lord knows I need all the help I can get in the brain function department...)

3. If you have ever moved somewhere new, needed a new hobby or just wanted a new friend or 72... this is your spot. I have already met a couple of amazing gals and can't wait to start building new friendships.

(Also, tonight's group was a macrobiotic vegetarian dinner. Split Pea Soup... Tofu/Mushroom Stroganoff... steamed veggies... zucchini cake...1.5 hours of conversation with vegetarian cyclists?! I'm never moving. )

4. Self Examination: A few excruciating rounds of this of this and I came up with..."Yes. This is hard" so "Get your butt to the gym, you'll feel better" and "be nice." It sounds so simple, right? If only...

Sometimes, even when life is awesome, the mean reds or the blues or straight up depression (yep. I used the "D" word) can sneak up behind you and kick you in the patootie. And that doesn't mean you're failing (ahem... listening, Self?) or that you're not going to pull out of it.

If you need help - ask for it! If you just need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps - pull away! Just be more adult than me about the fish oil thing...

*I am not a medical doctor nor a registered dietitian. Any supplementation I do is purely from research and recommendations I have been given or read. Seek medical advice before starting any supplementation regimen. If you think you may be depressed, seek out a licensed psychotherapist... I know a few. I've seen a few. They're pretty awesome.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

something else.

I had a post all written for today! all typed up and photo-ed and pretty.

I had plans for today.

I had all kinds of intentions, then beautiful, wonderful life happened.

Mr. Easily-Absorbed-by-a-Project didn't come to bed until 4 am... rendering me nearly sleepless from 4 am until 7 am, when my alarm told me it was time to get movin'. I had a hike to lead. A hike with a really long hill. So I led that darn hike ... then promptly returned home fell asleep in the sun beam melting through my bedroom window. I felt a lot like this gal.

I had big plans for the gym this afternoon to do some arms and shoulders, as mentioned on good ol' Facebook.

And then this happened.

And now I'm seated on my squashy couch, feeling so overwhelmingly blessed I think my heart might spring a leak.

I made pasta from a recipe taught to me by a dear friend.

I sliced mushrooms.

I drank wine from a cocktail glass that was a housewarming gift from my last lifetime.

I made an oh-so-dangerous recipe pretty darn healthful and paired it with a beautiful salad made from my half-awake forage at the Farmer's Market this morning.

Make this recipe. Love. Hike. Nap. Drink wine. And remember how incredibly blessed you are.

Better Than Ina's Mushroom Lasanga
adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Ina Garten

3/4 pound Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles (I made my own and used them fresh)
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup + 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds cremini
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Optional: (1 cup thinly sliced chicken breast if you are or live with a carnivore

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large, wide (if you use a wide one, you can save a dish later and saute your mushrooms in the bottom of it) of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil, that will help keep your noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Make béchamel: Bring the milk and garlic to simmer in a saucepan, or heat it in your microwave, and set it aside. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time, stirring until combined. Add sea salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring or whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.

Prepare mushrooms: Discard portobello mushroom stems and/or trim the ends of the cremini stems. Slice mushrooms 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cook evenly.

Assemble lasagna: Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce (about 1/4 of what remains), 1/3 of the mushrooms and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaning sauce and last 1/4 cup of parmesan.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.

12 servings - without chicken

Calories 195.5
Total Fat 12.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.4 g
Cholesterol 8.2 mg
Sodium 201.0 mg
Potassium 322.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 9.5 g

12 servings -with chicken

Calories 217.2
Total Fat 12.3 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.5 g
Cholesterol 19.6 mg
Sodium 213.8 mg
Potassium 372.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 14.0 g

(Nutritional Information calculated at

Thursday, October 7, 2010

back to your regularly scheduled life... with a big change!

aaaaaand i'm back.

yesterday included 4 loads of laundry, a good kitchen overhaul, a 1.2 hour hike and some snuggle time with the boy (who i friggin' missed!)... today is the sequel.

this little beauty (courtesy of Craigslist for $25)

has created B's PB toast and sandwich fix for the week for the low-low ingredient cost of: whole wheat flour, oatmeal, yeast, butter and honey. For those of you keeping track, that's five ingredients and about $1.50. Take THAT, Nature's Pride.

In other SUPER exciting news: I am finishing up studying for my ACE certification exam this month (AFAA seriously let me down and I am SO glad to be moving to another organization), cleaning the bathroom, training a client, working out and making mushroom lasagna.

For those of you who haven't guessed "the big news" yet: I am now a small, woman-owned business! Meet ZenPulse: the Silicon Valley's newest Holistic Fitness and Wellness resource! (for those of you who didn't catch the link, it's

More details to come, but much of my time has been spent researching, networking and pushing paperwork on things like insurance and accounting.

It's such a huge blessing and a really exciting thing for me and for B, who has been my encouragement, my financial adviser and my biz development consultant. We're chugging along and my goals for the end of the year include a couple more clients, a larger referral network, and a chance to start teaching classes again.

As I move into this, I'm hoping to start another (yes, you read that right) blog! A daily resource for fitness and nutrition tips, recipes and workouts. Let me know what you think and what you'd like to see - I'll keep pumping out the family news and sarcasm here - don't you worry! A certain B.O.B. has asked for YouTube videos and Podcasts for at least the last 12 months... wish granted.

Love you all and miss you tons! Send comments, emails, letters, and money! (Just kidding. but seriously...)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home and Back Again.

God, Auntie! Take a shower before you pick me up and snuggle me post-gym!

I will say again (for probably the billionth time this weekend) how much I love living this close to the ol' home state of Arizona. My best friends are there and, despite how much I love Cali, my heart is there.

(all photos courtesy of La's Droid as I brilliantly forgot my camera...)

Saturday was Kate the Great's Wedding! Congrats, Lady!


We couldn't stay in the Verde Valley long and had to leave the par-tay a little earlier than planned, but made up for it by carving pumpkins later! We cooked a quick dinner, busted out the Leinikugel's Oktoberfest, watched an episode or three of Arrested Development, then created these little beauties.

(La's is the beautiful, freehand Cardinal's logo!)

(My happy dragonfly-turned-butterfly. I overestimated my knife skills...)

Sunday was Turner Football Sunday. Cardinals lost. Badly. They don't want to talk about it. But a missing Bearded Dragon Lizard by the name of Bowser was recovered that morning after a very tense night and there was much rejoicing! Had pedis and dinner with the mom, then snuggled with this li'l punkin.

Saw "You Again" with the best-ie yesterday after a really healthful lunch of a Del Taco Veggieworks Burrito sans onions and cheese... (I still don't feel good, actually...) then bummed around the house and watched Ironman and Wolverine late into the night once Justen realized that I was WAY out of touch with Marvel Movies. I think I may have found a new obsession. (geez, and I call B a geek...)

Had breakfast with the gang at the Eggery at an oh-so-perky 7 am, said a quick hello to Daddy at the airport this morning as we crossed paths going in/coming out, then boarded a plane, bus, train and cab to get home. (B is toughing it out at the DMV today. He's on hour 3 or so?)

I can't say happy it makes me to just hang out with these amazing friends-slash-family. The opportunity to workout at the gym with my sister and watch multiple based-on-the-comic-book movie with best friends was amazing. It's the kind of trip that reminds me of how loved I am, even when circumstances sometimes feel otherwise.

Excited to be home but already missing my sis and best friend. It's gonna be a busy week, though... stay tuned!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Door to Door in less than 4!

Remember my last post where I said I left my camera at home?
Yeah... you get a thousand words rather than pictures today.
Read happy.

It took me 4 hours to get from my apartment to my best friend's house yesterday!

A trip that used to encompass at least 2 hours of airport waiting, 5-7 hours of flying with an hour layover, and a 2-3 hour time difference is now: wake up, write blog post using free internet at SJC, fly, eat authentic mexican food for lunch with bestie.


Spent last night hanging with E & J, sis and my doggie nephew.

We ate Chana Masala (courtesy of Eat, Live, Run) and "tandoori" chicken (comment if you want the recipe), drank a couple bottles of fabulous red wine, had some great chocolate and watched The Lovely Bones. Best. Night. Ever.

Sis and I then attempted to watch a 2nd movie, but Mel Gibson was no match for too little sleep the night before and a couple glasses of red wine. Zzz...

After being thoroughly disappointed with the rest of Mel's latest cinematic achievement this morning, we went to the gym (do as I do below), chowed monster salads at Sweet Tomatoes and headed home to take a nap.

It is such a huge blessing to hang with my sis with no "oh my gosh, i'm only here for three days and I won't be back for another 6 months because i can't afford another 2 days of travel and $400" hanging over my head! It's just relaxed and sweet.

Up to Camp Verde for Kate the Great's Wedding tomorrow! Then Turner Football Sunday, dinner with the Mom and Hiking Squaw Peak to follow before I head back to Cali. Woo Hoo!


Workout 'o' The Day

this one doesn't even require a gym: just do without the BOSU,
run hills instead of ellipticizing and hit up the bleachers instead of the stairmill

20 min elliptical: your program of choice, resistance level 10

3 sets:

15 BOSU prisoner squats*

15 BOSU push ups (flat side)

30 BOSU oblique crunches

3 sets:

20 BOSU lunges, alternating

20 BOSU tricep dips**

30 second BOSU plank (round side)

3 sets:

15 stability ball glute bridges

25 double crunches

20 min Stairmill: level 7, alternating btwn single and double steps

*for a prisoner squat, interlace your fingers behind your head and open your chest as wide as possible while performing a squat to 90-degrees. Keep your back muscles active and your abs on.

**extend your legs for added difficulty, but make sure your butt scrapes the BOSU behind you - no floating!