Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunshine Awards!

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Amanda from The Grains of Paradise for nominating me for a sunshine award! Amanda has inspired me in many ways when it comes to eating, photography, and blogging (and ready teenie bopper books...oops!) Amanda is a beautiful person inside and out...and her blog is beautiful too! In fact, every morning, the first thing I do is check my Google Reader to see if she has a new post! I love her photographs, her recipes, and hearing about what is going on in my beloved Maui. Amanda is a friend of mine from high school and introduced me to the blogging world. She also sparked my interest in vegetarianism and veganism. Amanda's blog is a bright spot in my day and I highly recommend checking it out. She also talks about all of her travels.

In honor of this award, I will also mention my other 12 favorite blogs. You can do the same award by copying the award into your blog, nominating 12 blogs and linking them to your blog,, and then commenting on each of those 12 blogs to let them know you gave them the award. Like they say... spread the blog love!!!!

1. Snackface Although I am new to this blog, Kailey is seriously the funniest person I have ever encountered. She is in college and dreams of having her own magazine one day. She is hilarious and loves...can you guess? Snacks! She is full of love and passion and really a gorgeous person. She also leans towards veganisim but still has fun.

2. The Hungry Yogini Courtney is also in college and is currently living in Paris. She loves healthy cooking, yoga, and takes amazing photographs. She is also very philosophical and I really enjoy her blog. (And am of course jealous of her life in Paris). She draws a lot of the same connects of yoga and real life that I do.

3. Smitten Kitchen Deb is a new mom living in a tiny apartment in New York. She makes the most incredible food and I have not been disappointed by one of her recipes. Her writing and photography is also fantastic. She has a long list of recipes, so if you are ever looking for something tasty, check it out.

4. 101 Cookbooks Heidi Swanson is a professional photographer and cookbook writer. Her blog is a collection of recipes, some her own, some from others, and always are accompanied by a story and photos. She also writes about San Francisco and surrounding areas, which brings me back to where I am from. I also have one of her books which is great!

5. The Inner Workings of a College Graduate Meghann is a typical 20 something that experienced college and post college wait gain. She realized she had to do something about it, so she started running like crazy and eating really healthy. She has lost weight, looks great and has a cute little dog. She makes weird food combinations and honestly when she starts talking about "spilts" and "garmin" I basically zone out. The one reason I come back to her blog is for her infectious optimism and happiness. This girl is so smiley and it seems very genuine!

6. Florida Coastal Cooking Dawn is also a new mom who lives in Florida and is into healthy cooking (her daughter has lots of food allergies) and making healthy cooking tasty! She has great photos and also loves yoga.

7. Eggs on Sunday  Amy is another new mom! Who hasn't been blogging since she had her baby!!!! Which is making me very sad. Amy is the person who introduced me to CSA's (Check out this site to find one in your area ) and also has amazing recipes and photos. She lives in New York and it was very cool to see the seasons change there via her food (we really don't have seasons in Southern California). I want her to blog again!!!!

8. 365 Days of Marcie Marcie is someone else I went to high school with. She lives in San Francisco and is a professional photographer. She is also a foodie! She is documenting her year through photographs. I love her photography and keeping up to date on the food scene in San Francisco.

9. Care to Eat This blog was once written by two cousins Erin and Andrea. Erin can't write anymore but Andrea still does and she is funny! She has her own language (of course) and writes about her adventures in making her own cheese, yogurt, and raw foods.

10. Carrots N Cake  Tina is fantastic. She writes for a number of sites, is writing a book, and is following her dreams into nutrition and writing. She also loves pugs as much as I do and is very upbeat. I like reading Tina's blog because she is very real and talks about her stress, etc. Sometimes I think people stick to more of the positives in life on the blogs, but Tina's realism makes her easier to identify with.

11. Pastries and Bacon I found Melissa via Amanda and immediately started following her blog. She makes great looking food and I find the most relatable part about her site is her ability to find balance between eating healthy but keeping her boyfriend's stomach happy too. I struggle with this...not wanting to eat meat anymore but having a hungry meat eating boyfriend. I also love Melissa's interviews of other people and her dogs!

12. Kath Eats Real Food Kath is into real food (obviously) and is really down to earth. She is very organized and is studying nutrition and working on opening a Great Harvest Bread franchise with her husband Matt. She eats so healthy but it seems so easy so I like to look at her ideas just to stay on track. She also is glowing with optimism and honestly, can't we all just use a little bit of that these days?

Thank you to all of these wonderful ladies for brightening my days and life with their blogs, words, food, inspiration and friendship, whether I know you or not! Yeah! I have bloggies!

Hugs and love,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Musings for March 22nd....

A few random thoughts and updates:

Dreaming of being skinny:
I realized last night that I have almost completely changed my diet and have started working out WAY more often and that all happened one year ago in March. Even though I have markedly improved how I feel (much less anxiety, I handle stress better) sleep, a look to some extent (my hair seems nicer, my skin seems better, I think I have more tone and definition).... I haven't lost any weight. My weight teeters around a solid number (I'm not telling) and goes down about 5 pounds from there depending on the day, time, etc.  I realize that weight is not everything and while I am happy that some of my clothes fit better, I still wish I was thinner. I realize that "thin" does not equal healthy, but I live in Southern California and spend a lot of time in a bikini. I also have been consistently called "voluptuous" and I know that is just a nice way of saying "porky". OK, not really. I wish there was a magic pill to take to loose a few lbs. Here's to hoping. I also used to be very skinny! I only weighed 120 until I was 22. Needless to say, that is no longer the case. HARUMPH. 

Last Wednesday, I had a TOTAL WACKY WEDNESDAY. Does anyone remember that book? I woke up early to take Peroni for a walk and on the way home I encountered this woman who lives in my neighborhood. I have seen her before and she has said some mean things to me in the past under her breath "You are so ugly", etc. I thought I might be imagining it, but Wednesday I realized that I certainly was not imagining it. She was walking her dog who proceeded to lunge at Peroni and bark and go crazy. She yelled at me and said something along the lines of "You deserve it and that's what you get!" I was mystified and for some reason it made me cry. I rushed home to tell Aaron and he rushed outside to my honor but we could not find the woman so we just forgot it. UGH! Rough start to the day. 

Well, I get to my office an hour later, and someone is parked in my parking spot (we have assigned spots).  It was a Mini Cooper and I know the owner. He has parked in my spot before and I have politely asked him not to. He always gets really huffy. On Wednesday I wrote him a note asking him to "please" not park in our spots anymore. Well, that must have really made him mad because he stormed into my office with the note, threw it at me, and screamed something about how it would have been nice if I said "please". I was so shocked! Anyone else would have just stopped parking there! I immediately burst into tears. It was 9:00 am and now 2 people have screamed at me!!!!!!!!!!! WTF????? I was so angry...and a little bit scared, to tell the truth. We made a formal complaint to the property manager and I think it's all ok now. 

But this really got me to thinking. When I woke up on Wednesday... I had NO idea what was in store for me. I could have broken my leg, won the lottery, closed a huge deal at work, found a mouse in my house, ran into an old friend or enemy, etc. ANYTHING can happen to you on ANY day at ANY time. Even if it means two jerks screaming at you for nothing. Or maybe it was something much better? It was very funny that the next day, one of my favorite bloggers, Kath, wrote about how outside forces can affect us and what to do with them. She included a really nice poem by one of my favorite poets, Rumi, about how humans are like hotels and each day brings new guests...some are good and some are bad, but the shape who we are. WE are the ones who choose HOW the shaping takes place. So, even though I had to welcome two unhappy visitors into my hotel, I just choose to learn from them. Unfortunately, I think the woman is insane, and I will just have to find more patience for her when I encounter her again (I already have, twice) and as for the man? He must be having a really hard time. He must be truly unhappy with his life to make a pitiful girl like me cry over something as trivial as a parking spot. I learned from him to be happy and thankful with what I do have, and not to worry about the things I don't have. I also learned not to project my unhappiness onto never know what kind of day they are having. 

Here is the poem:

Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Today is the 22nd day in a row that I have done yoga!!!!! I feel so proud of myself. :) My shoulders are looking really toned :) I am feeling stronger too. I have noticed that my mid back is sore and asked one of the instructors to watch me to see if I am doing something wrong. I might be just overdoing it. I will definitely be careful but WILL finish my challenge. :) Even if I am not skinnier for my 31st birthday, I will be stronger. :)

Tomorrow is my three year anniversary with Aaron. It's amazing how time flies when you are having fun! We have had a great time together over the last three years. Aaron has stood by me through some tough times and I also have stood by him through tough times. We have made it through a lot and still manage to laugh together. We have a happy, supportive and fun family unit (with Peroni, of course!). Love you, Honey! Thanks for eating all the veggies I cook you! XXXOOO

I think that is it. Have a happy day and welcome all the visitors into your hotel today...just remember to learn from them. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I heart weekends and organic veggies!

Last weekend was busy, productive and fun. On Friday night Aaron and I went to Sbicca which is a cute little restaurant in Del Mar, for a glass of wine.  We get coupons from that cost $2 for a $25 certificate. Some of the restaurants that participate put regulations on what you can use the $25 for (food only, no alcohol, etc.) Sbicca has no such rules so it's perfect! We can just sit at the bar and and some drinks. It's practically free! After we had wine we stopped at Roberto's Taco Shop on the way home and I got a veggie burrito. Yum!

We do the thing at the Red Tracton in Del Mar too. The Red Tracton is an old steak restaurant with a piano bar and lots of old rich drunk guys. It's dark and has smokey glass and old red leather booths. I love it! It's sort of odd, but I love the nostalgia of it. Aaron and I went there on Thursday before heading to Cirque de Soliel. We each had a drink, we shared a huge salad and bread, and Aaron had one of their enormous baked potatoes. I think with tip we had to pay an extra $7 on top of the $25 certificate for a whole meal! Seriously, check out Kooza (the Cirque show) was great. It was more of a traditional circus storyline than shows I have seen in the past. The music was more of a component too, which was great. In the past, the music was more like background music. This time, they had a woman singing and men with horns. The music was great and stood out much more. If you have never been to a Cirque de Soliel show, I would highly recommend it. There is just something about it! It is truly an amazing experience.  And for me it doesn't hurt that it's French. I's in English but has lots of French Humor...but you know how I am such a francophile. We actually got our tickets for the show for half off! Which is a good's usually really expensive. 

Back to last weekend. On Saturday I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and then I did my taxes. Boring but necessary. And I am getting a little money back! Bonus! 

On Sunday, the weather was wonderful, so Peroni and I went for a walk along the coast.  This was along Highway 101 in Cardiff and Encinitas. Not too shabby.....

The walk was really nice. We then headed to the farmer's market in Solana Beach and I really wanted to take some pictures but it was PACKED and there was no room for me and my camera. I think everyone was so happy to see all the sunshine after we have been under rain and clouds for the past few months. I also ate an amazing veggie crepe at the farmers market.Yum. Then I went to the grocery store to pick up some final ingredients for our dinner. We had Rosemary and Raymond over (my cousins from Cardiff). I made a delicious dinner! 

For appetizers we had radishes, butter, and fleur de sel on crusty bread from the farmers. In France, people take radishes and dip them in butter and then salt. It is delish but not very healthy. I thought this would be a good way to get the same flavor combination without using too much butter. It turned out really great. 

The first course of dinner was a chickpea and leek soup inspired by Jamie Oliver. I boiled dried chickpeas until I had about two cups worth. I am telling you....dried chickpeas taste SO much better than canned! Seriously, it is amazing what a difference it makes. It also costs much less. Of course, it takes a lot of time to boil the chickpeas when they are dried. I also soak them (and any dried beans for that matter) overnight before I boil them. It helps to take away their gaseous effects. :) 

Anyway, back to the recipe: So take 2 cups of boiled chickpeas and boil them with two peeled, roughly diced red potatoes until the potatoes are mushy. While those are cooking, take 2 large leeks or 4 small ones and cut off the outer leaves. Slice them long way and then slice them up into small half moons. Soak them in cold water to clean them and get all of the dirt off. Then drain them off and saute them in olive oil with as much chopped garlic as you want. Also add some S and P. Once the leeks are softened, add the potatoes and chickpeas. Add in 3-4 cups of broth...I used vegetable. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Then you can serve it like this or if you want to thicken it up, you can use an immersion blender to blend some of the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lots of Parmesan cheese. Yum! Sorry, I didn't get a picture. This soup is really creamy and doesn't have any cream or milk. It's great. 

For dinner we had an amazing fresh salad with mustard vinaigrette. I mixed a couple kinds of lettuce, arugula, and all kinds of fresh herbs together. I also blanched a small hand-full of green beans and mixed those in. The dressing was 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1.5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, lots of chopped garlic, and S and P. The salad was AMAZING! I think it was the best part of the meal. 

We also had citrus risotto which had a grapefruit, meyer lemon, an orange, two cuties, and a lime. I have been getting SO much citrus in my CSA shares so I wanted to find a good use for some of it. This recipe was inspired by an Alice Waters recipe from Chez Panisse Fruit.

First, zest about half of the zest of all the citrus fruits. Section off all the fruit and set those aside. Sauté one large or two small sweet onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a deep, heavy bottomed pot. I use my le Creuset mid sized dutch oven. Also add in as much chopped garlic as you want. Add half of the zest as well.  Add S and P. After the onions are softened, add in two cups of arborio rice and stir until each grain of rice is covered in oil. Make sure to have a nice pot of 4-6 cups of broth simmering away. Once the rice looks sort of clear (after about 2-3 minutes) add in one cup of dry white wine. You have to stir constantly  now, so make sure you are ready for also helps to have a nice boyfriend close by to share with the stirring.  Once the wine is absorbed, add in a cup of broth and half of the fruit. Stir until the broth absorbs. Continue adding one cup of broth at a time, stir until absorbed. When the rice is cooked, add in the remaining zest and fruit. Adjust S and P. Stir in one more tablespoon of butter and as much Parmesan cheese as you want. Delish! 

Here is the table all set and ready to go. In the back you can see some of my cookbooks. :)

For desert, I made an orange upside down cake. I used raw sugar and spelt flour to make it more healthy. Believe me, it tasted great. I got the recipe from a blog and can't find it. At least you can see the picture and check out Aaron in the background...stirring the risotto! 

The dinner was delicious and I don't think anyone noticed that there was no meat involved. We got plenty of protein from the spelt flour in the cake and from the chickpeas in the soup. 

It was a really nice dinner with good company. A great way to wind down a weekend.

Although I don't really like Mondays, every other Monday is an exciting treasure trove of VEGGIES! I get my CSA delivery! It's always an adventure because I never know what is going to be included. Well this week did not disappoint. It was a huge bounty!!! It's amazing we get all this great produce for $30!!! So cheap!!!! Check it out:

This included:
2 avocados
2 parsnips
1 bunch of bok choy
4 heads of gorgeous cauliflower
6 heads of broccoli
1 bunch of radishes
1 huge bag of spring mix lettuce
1 huge bunch of carrots
2 huge onions 
2 red bell peppers
2 baskets of strawberries
3 leeks
10 tangerines
1 bunch of dandelion greens

If you ask me, that is a deal for $30 worth of local, organic produce. The fun comes with deciding what to do with all of this! Last night we made pasta with cauliflower, broccoli and pecorino romano cheese. Simple but tasty!

I also made curry with cauliflower, chickpeas, and green peas. Obviously we have had lots of salads. Tonight I am going to make a pot of soup to have during the week. I am also going to make a sautéed veggie pizza. 

Yesterday, Aaron and I went down to Pacific Beach and Mission Beach to wander around and have lunch. PB was packed and we couldn't find parking so we ended up parking at Belmont Park in Mission Beach and walking down to Saska's for lunch. I had a shrimp and avocado sandwich and Aaron and I shared an artichoke salad. I also had some kind of wheat beer that was really good. The weather was perfect. The only bummer was that we wanted to walk on the boardwalk with Peroni and there are no dogs allowed! I never paid attention when I lived there because I didn't have a dog. We don't get down to PB and MB that much anymore.  We had to walk on the street which wasn't a just would have been better to see the ocean or the bay. Mission Beach is full of hippies and gorgeous 20 somethings so there is always lots to look at. There was a ban placed on alcohol in all San Diego beaches a few years ago. But there is a loophole which many of the 20 somethings figured out: You can drink in the water! So they were having TUBE-A-POOLOOZA in the bay! There were all kinds of floaty devices and I am guessing that a ton of beer was consumed. Aaron and I thought the water in Mission Bay must be gross all that beer= lots of pee in the water!!!!!! YUCK! 

I have a soft spot for Mission Beach because I used to live there. It was a fun couple of summers, that was before the ban on alcohol so you know lots of beer was consumed. I did lots of barbecuing, made lots of friends, did a ton of running, riding my red beach cruiser, swimming, tanning, etc. It was a great time and I am so happy I got to live at the beach for a few years. But it's kind of for young I bought a condo in suburbia and moved away from the beach. I guess I felt it was time to be an adult. :( But I do miss the water and all the pretty views. The bars and restaurants and shopping are pretty enjoyable too. 

Anyway...I leave you with some pictures of Mission Beach. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Yoga Challenge

Hi Blog Friends,

Boy am I frazzled! I have so much work to do and not enough time to do it. My to do list keeps growing and it seems like my days are getting shorter and shorter. Working this hard to build a new business without seeing instant gratification (it may take a while before I start collecting commissions) is enough to drive this girl bat shit crazy. Serious.

To keep myself sane, slim, happy, centered and kind, I am doing a month long yoga challenge. I had hoped to do a challenge like this in January when I did a cleanse diet and also did not partake in wine or other adult beverages. However, I seriously hurt my should in the first week of January and while I wanted to push through the pain and just do it anyway, Aaron warned me not to and to heal first, then do yoga. So I only did yoga about 18 times in January rather than 31. February flew by with guests, trips, etc., so March is my month! April 3rd is also my 31st birthday, and I have to admit, I am feeling a bit weird about it. I didn't really mind my 30th birthday, but 31 seems so....much closer to 40.

On March 2nd, I realized that I had the power to give myself a birthday gift EVERYDAY until my birthday. I have the ability to keep myself younger, leaner, and stronger and I can do this everyday! What is this gift, you may ask? The! Instead of looking at this as something I "have to do", I am looking at it as something I "get to do". I have challenged myself to do at least one hour of yoga per day until my April 3rd birthday. Preferably, all of those sessions will be at the heated studio I belong to, but at least 5 of them per week WILL be at the studio. So far, I am on day 10, and due to being out of town for one day, I did a 75 minute Dave Farmar podcast. Wowza! It was almost as hard as my studio classes. I feel great, have been sleeping like a ROCK and feel my arms getting more toned. Yippee! It's amazing how much I have improved since I have been doing hot yoga in the past year (although it is a little bit sad that I have been doing yoga for about 8 years and still can't do many of the postures). I can now hold high plank, low plank, side plank. With the help of my friend Susan, I can also now do head stand! Thanks Susan!

In addition to motivating myself by looking at each yoga class as a gift to myself, I am also thinking of challenging poses and times during class as gifts. Rather than thinking to myself "I hate humble warrior... I can't do another sit up, push up, chaturunga, etc." I think to myself "If you do this work you will love the way you feel and look and that is a gift!"  I know its a little far fetched, but its keeping me pretty motivated and I feel like I have really been able to push my limits in class.

The hardest thing about yoga for me is "letting go". I can't stop thinking about: all the meetings I have, laundry I need to do, when I am going to walk the dog, how I am I going to pay my bills, when will I read those 30 books I want to read this year, what am I going to make for dinner, when will I find time to call my friends back.....AH! It's craziness how busy my mind gets when I am on my yoga mat. (Why can't my mind work that fast on Mondays at work? :) ) Well last week, I had a total break through. I had an amazing session. I thought about work....but only briefly and only twice...and then I just let it go. I really focused all of my attention on breathing....imagine that! and it worked! I was in a complete and total zone. I felt so light and just flowed through all of the poses. Even the instructor noticed. That day was wonderful. I felt totally energized, refreshed, and was completely productive. Now I have tried to recreate that feeling and guess what? I haven't been able to do it again. But I realize that it's really true what they say about yoga: where you are now in yoga is EXACTLY where you need to be. I am sure I will feel that amazing feeling again...hopefully sooner than later.

I decided it was time to get a new yoga mat since I have had the same one for 8 years and even though I wash it....that's just gross. However, I do have to say, I felt a little sacrilegious giving up using the mat on  which I have learned so much on over the past several years.  The blue one on the left is the old one. It is getting so thin, it's all slippery, it has a whole in it, and I love it. :) My new one is on the right. It's so pretty! It has a nice tree on it (which I never really see because I use yogi toes over the top) but it is super thick and really non slippery and just great. Such an improvement. Out with the old and in with the new, I guess?

I am feeling really good about completing this challenge as long as I don't hurt myself. I just am not quite sure what I will do next weekend....Aaron and I have been talking about going camping for two nights. It would just leave me with one day to do yoga in the forest....which could be fun...or totally weird! We will see. I did yoga while camping one day last fall and it was great...but it was also 630 am and no one could see me.

I actually bought my new yoga mat in a very unlikely place that actually doesn't have any yoga studios that I could find: YUMA! I went for a whole weekend for a car show and did not take ONE picture of an old car. The weekend was fun...lots of Aaron's dad's friends hanging out, talking about cars, drinking wine, sharing appetizers, etc. I sat by the pool and went shopping at Target and Old Navy, and we went out for a couple of non descript meals. It's Yuma... I didn't expect much in terms of great restaurants. It was a nice calm weekend away from home which is not a bad thing. (One of the bad things about Yuma is all the fat people! My gosh! They need to exersice and stop eating such bad fatty food. Bleck!)

On the drive home it was pouring rain but it stopped for a while and we went to the CENTER OF THE WORLD. That's right! The center of the world. I even got a cool certificate saying so! There is this weird place right outside of Yuma on the California side called Felicity. France and the US established this place to create a monument to mankind and the history of the world. There are all these big marble walls that are being  engraved to tell the history of the world. It's actually kind of a cult inspired kind of way. There is a little pyramid that you stand inside of and there was a little Asian lady who told us "congratulations! you have made it to the center of the world!". It was very serious and ceremonial. We all got to make a wish while standing on the little "dot" inside the pyramid. There is also a little church built in honor of Saint Felicity. (I hope you all can sense the sarcasm in my blogging voice).

Here are the walls.
You can see the pyramid in the background. And the little person in the red jacket was the little Asian lady. She was very excited about all of this. Check out their website: This is all apparently based on a CHILDRENS  book. Ugh! So weird! I seriously kept looking for people wearing white robes and chanting.
Here is the little church (which was actually pretty cute)

There is also a section of the stairs from the Eiffel Tower! I really didn't get the whole "French Connection" thing...

It's pretty weird to drive on the 8 freeway and see this stairwell riding up towards the sky. If that doesn't scream "cult" I don't l know what does.

Once we got into the mountains, it starting snowing! 

This was taken from a moving car, but you get the idea.

Anyway, off to see Cirque de Soliel! 

And by the way, DAD, if you have not tried yoga yet, what are you waiting for??????

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


One more post before this old lady falls asleep on her computer. Speaking of old... I am turning 31 on April 3rd. I guess I will need to update the "about me" portion of the blog. Meh. I was thinking about it today and as a gift to myself for my birthday, I am going to promise myself to do yoga everyday, at least once a day, between now and my birthday. Even if I can't make it to the studio, I can find a podcast or video, or show on cable, or just jump on my mat, and do some yoga. I must make time for my yoga leaves me feeling rested, calm, happy, and ready to cope with my crazy life!

Back to one of my most favorite people in the world... Lindsey. My sister is rad. She is hot, funny (sometimes a little too funny...ahem), smart, driven, sarcastic, and totally individual. You will never meet anyone else like her.....see...............this is at a dive bar in Ramona. Lindsey doesn't really "do" East County San Diego. We stopped for a beer on the way up to Julian. Julian is a little mining town East of SD. I love it. There are little hotels, restaurants, wineries, camping, etc. I really love it! Lindsey on the other hand....

We both went to SDSU. She was a freshman when I was a senior. We were both in Alpha Phi there, lived in a house together, and shared many of the same friends. It was a great year! While I have stayed in SD, Lindsey has gone to Chicago for grad school and is now living in San Francisco. But I think she still has a place in her heart for San Diego and comes to visit from time to time. I don't always get 100% of her attention...the girl has TONS of friends in SD that all want to see her when she is here.  It's no wonder...she is fabulous!

Among the many outings we had, we spent Valentine's Day together with Aaron and Peroni. So we went up to Julian with plans to go to a few wineries but it was packed (it was Valentine's Day) and Lindsey was really tired from clubbing downtown with her friends. more reason I feel old. I don't remember the last time I went clubbing? It sounds so unappealing and expensive. I would much rather eat at a nice restaurant.

We did go to one winery which is very nice, J Jenkins. I have had some really fun times at this spot...the wine here is very nice, the owners are lovely, the view is great, and I have had many smiles here. Here are some pretty pictures of the winery, Lindsey, Aaron and Peroni. We also had sandwiches from a bakery and deli named Dudley's. I had an awesome veggie sandwich. Yum. I tried to take some pictures but they did not come out.

After we had wine we went into the little town of Julian and the wineries were just too packed. We ended up at this restaurant and sat outside sharing a slice of Julian's famous apple pie and hot coffee drinks.

Then we started driving home and Lindsey and Aaron (and Peroni for that matter) all promptly fell asleep. :) As soon as we got home...they all continued napping while I put together an amazing Valentine's dinner to share with my two favorite people. Aaron and I made special homemade presents for each other which we traded in the morning. I made Aaron homemade cookies and cards and decorations. He beaded me a necklace and bracelet...what a guy!!!! Valentine's dinner out is always so chaotic and expensive so I thought it would be much more fun to make a yummy, healthy dinner at home. And we are trying to save money, so homemade presents made sense.

Dinner included Chinese inspired cuisine: 
Steamed Silken Tofu with Soy Sauce and Sauteed Spinach
Stir Fried Asparagus and Tomatoes
Fried eggs with oyster sauce and green onions
Cabbage salad with carrots, green onions
Steamed rice with a cool packet of little beans and lentils from an Asian grocery store

I got all the ideas from Kylie Kwong's Book, Simple Chinese Cooking. She lives in Australia and makes amazing, fresh, and healthy Chinese food. 

This tofu dish was particularly amazing. The tofu steamed was so creamy and amazing tasting! I highly recommend this book. I think Kylie has a few.

We had a great time with Lindsey and I was so happy to spend a ton of time with her! She loved my healthy cooking, too. 

Now to leave you with my cooking pest  friend, Peroni:

He helped me make some really good things last week, including these pretty VEGAN grilled cheese and great lentil soup with kale. This dinner was incredibly good, so low in fat, and completely vegan. The cheese is made from soy and is from Trader Joes. It melts gorgeously! 

Good night blog friends... I have another hectic day tomorrow!

Page and Poltz.....

So I mentioned seeing a few concerts lately. When Aaron and I first started dating, he did an incredibly cute thing and simultaneously introduced me to a new artist. I went to his cool little bachelor pad in downtown San Diego to meet up before going out on a date. He was sitting on his dining table, looking quite dapper, and playing the guitar! Well, sort of. He is still working out the kinks. He was playing this incredibly pretty song written by Steve Poltz. He also let me listen to the recorded song since he thought it was a tragedy I had never heard it before. The song has become "our song" mainly because of lines like "I love the freckles on your face" "I love the way you sashay through the room"...etc. It seems like it was written for me from Aaron! Ahhhhhhh so cute.

Anyway, Steve Poltz is a great musician that people don't really know about. He is credited with finding Jewel and co writing her big song "I was meant for you". He also was in a band called "The Rugburns". He is kind of behind the scenes but has a pretty big following in San Diego. We have seen him at all kinds of cool venues from tiny bars in Ramona to The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach and even at the Scripps Aquarium.  We LOVE him. He is so funny! Steve is REALLY wacky. He does and says whatever he wants and the things that come out of his mouth just crack me up. For instance, one of his songs is called "The Lonely Giraffe". Hehee. He is kind of a folk singer and normally just plays his guitar and sings and tells songs. He is great. Look him up at  You might also know him from the song "Hitchhiker Joe".

Anyway, we also really started liking Gregory Page Gregory and Steve were in the Rugburns together and everyone once in a while they will show up for each other's shows. It's very cool...they are great friends. Gregory is also kind of folksy but has one album that has some french influences. He is very cool...wears fedoras, and white blousy shirts, and vests and has long hair and a real "artsy" feel about him. He is very approachable too...we (OK...not WE just ME) talk to him every time we see him.

So on the 13th we were watching Gregory at this cool little private show and Steve Poltz showed up. They played a few songs together and it was great. Afterwards, we (ok, ok, me again) got talking to the two of them and they told us about this big show to celebrate Steve's 50th birthday at the Belly Up Tavern the following Friday. We had to go....and boy was it a great show. I almost backed out at the last minute because I was so tired, but what can I saw? There is something so amazing about good live music. I danced around until almost 2 in the morning. It was great.

By the way, the Belly Up Tavern is RAD. It is on this street in this hippy town called Solana Beach that is full of design shops for the home. So it's kind of in a weird spot. Inside it looks like an upside down boat! Get it? Belly Up? Anyway, they have great shows there, cheap drinks, and fun times. It's a great venue...check it out if you haven't.

Time Flies when you are having fun...

Well my blog friends, I am doing a terrible job of keeping this updated so far! I can't believe it has been 21 days since my last post! Oh my! I promised myself that when I started this blog I would not beat myself up about not updating all the time and just do it as I felt necessary and have the time for. Well, I  have been swamped. Put that on top of this "lack of blogging guilt" I have been feeling, and it's becoming a bad, bad cycle.

I just need to remind myself that this is for fun and while maybe one day it will become something of a profession or lead to something else in my life, right now I am a recruiter! And I work an awful lot. I will no longer feel guilty! (Yea, right, keep telling yourself that.)

My job is supposed to be an 8-5 kind of scenario. In actuality, I usually work late and have lots of early morning meetings and evening / night meetings as well. I also have lunch meetings. So while I may only work in the office from 8-5, I may have a 7 am coffee meeting and a networking event, etc., at night. I also often have to do happy hours with clients and candidates. Because I often recruit people that are in a job, I have to be flexible and really open to meeting at any time of day. In addition to my time intensive job, doing hot yoga 4-5 times a week, spending time with the boyfriend, and all the other normal life stuff, I have been doing the following (maybe this will help explain why I have been so distant)

February 7th, I went to the Opera with some friends. The opera was La Boheme and it was a production of the San Diego Opera. It was wonderful...really amazing! It was very nice to get dressed up and have a nice lunch at a great little French place... Cafe Chloe in downtown San Diego. It's like a little Parisian bistro. The food was great and the ambiance was very French. Loved it.

On February 10th, I had a work happy hour at a new restaurant in Del Mar called Zel's. She had some hummus and I had a few bites...all the food looked really good and I want to go back for dinner.

On February 11th, I had a late night work meeting.

On Friday, February 12th, my sister came to visit from SF for a few days. (more on that later) She was here from Friday through Monday night.

On Saturday, February 13th, my boyfriend and I went to a concert...Gregory Page.

On Thursday, February 18th, I had a work happy hour.

On Friday, February 19th, my bf and I went to see another concert, Steve Poltz.

On Saturday, February 20th, we packed up our dog and car to go house sitting for our friends (Matt and Erica and their dog Marley and cat Ella) in Oceanside. On the way up to their house, we went to some friends house for brunch. That night we were supposed to have dinner at a friends house, but the bf was not feeling well so we skipped it. We stayed in Oceanside through Monday, February 22nd.

On that Monday, I had another evening work meeting.

On that Friday the 26th, my friend Susan came to visit. She just left on Sunday, the 28th. More on that to come.

On Sunday, the 28th, I met my friend Erica for a walk and lunch.

Phew! I am not sure how I keep up! (I will be honest and tell you that this weekend between visiting with Susan and last weekend when we were house sitting... I took...THREE NAPS! I never take naps but honestly, I have been so tired from running around like a bozo. Three naps! Very unlike me.)

Luckily this week is less busy and we are taking Friday off for our annual car show trip to Yuma. Yahoo!

Here is a picture of me at work...all business-like. This is my desk. Aren't those polka dot folders cute?

I am happy I have a good job. I guess I shouldn't complain.

Hugs and smiles, friends...from your way too busy friend.