Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm Not Looking to Buy, Really...

Ok, I promise this is the last HouseLust post for the day. Really. But One Thing Led To Another and suddenly I have to share these pictures before I explode with their coolness.

First up on the list, a supercool 4 bedroom house in the Elmwood area of Berkeley. I'm pretty sure this is my ideal neighborhood. I love it. It is wonderful. Not too far from where I live right now, just a little closer to the cutesy area of College Ave. Bonus points for fabulous staging!

"Oh, hi. I didn't see you there. I'm just a Ridiculously Cool Kitchen Island!" Look at the legs on that thing! Holy cow, I think I like it so much that I have to share a picture from another angle.

"Yeah, I know I look good from this angle too." Oh, kitchen. I think I'm in love.

And ok, I'm sure the grout is a pain to clean, but I'm really digging the subway tile on this showertub. Also, it looks really deep, and I love a deep tub!

House #2 scores bonus points for labeling itself as "Elmwood Cutie." It is only a 1 bedroom, but it's too cute not to share.

Doesn't this bedroom look soothing? I love the greenery right outside the window...

I'm not crazy about the red paint, but it looks really nice in there...

The kitchen is small, but oh so cute!

Sheesh, from all this HouseLusting, you'd think I was looking to buy a house. Don't worry, I'm not. I love love love my little apartment, and I'm not lookin' to move any time soon! But someday...

Outdoor Dreams

I just got the new West Elm summer catalogue in the mail today, and there are some drool-worthy items for outdoor living. I can never afford West Elm (with the exception of my discounted mirror accessories), but it doesn't cost anything to look! The HouseLust tag is being expanded to include home decor/accessories I am lusting after, in addition to homes and gardens and all that. Basically, HouseLust = any home-related thing that like. Enjoy these lust-worthy images, all courtesy of West Elm.

lanterns, delicious lanterns

I don't know who lives at this hypothetical house ON THE BEACH, but this deck is pretty much amazing.

This mirror is quite lovely. I have one kind of like it from IKEA (not really, but same idea).

Perhaps a nice little lunch in the sunshine...

...and then a summer afternoon nap!

Lovely Living Room

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

IKEA Summer

IKEA has a lot of great stuff for summer, including these awesome solar lanterns, which I am trying very hard to resist. They also just have a lot of great summer stuff, inspiration for the backyard summer parties of my future...ah, glorious summer parties. Doesn't this just put you in the mood for outdoor living? Someday, I want to have a nice big backyard for entertaining. Growing up in Los Angeles, my childhood was filled with BBQ/pool parties and general outdoor hanging out, and it will be fun to host some of my own. My current yard is tiny, and you have to go upstairs to my apartment and then downstairs to the backyard to get there, but it's a nice little place to hang out. I had one BBQ party last year, and I think this summer will see a few more!

Chicken Parm

Speaking of friend Erin mentioned that she had no dinner plans tonight before meeting her husband for his band's gig, which provided the necessary motivation for me to actually try a new recipe! Hooray! Ta-Da! Etc!

I made the Hungry Girl Chicken No-Harm Parm and the Hungry Girl Mozzarella Sticks, which only took about 20 minutes to prepare. Bonus: It tasted good! My notes on the cooking: I made the mozzarella sticks at the same time I made the chicken, but I just left the chicken in a little longer. I also used chicken breast tenders instead of whole chicken breasts (that's what I had on-hand), so they required about half the cooking time (I just omitted the second 10 min of cooking time). I used Trader Joe's Bruscetta instead of marinara sauce, because I didn't have any good thick marinara on hand. I also used a combination of smoked jack and parmesan instead of mozzarella on top of the chicken because that's what I had. Upped the fat content a tad, but that's ok with me, since the meal itself is so low-cal and all. I also served the chicken on a bed of baby spinach, something The Boy named "The Spinach Trick" - and something we saw recently on a Food Network show as a way to make your plate look more full (trick your mind into thinking there's more food, without adding more pasta, for example...and also a way to add some spinach to a meal without much effort). I love "The Spinach Trick."

Pictures below, just because. Click to enlarge :-)

Mozzarella Sticks
I think I left them in a bit too long...they got all oozey and flattened and squished. Still tasted good though. Next time, I think 5 min in the oven instead of 10.

Chicken Parm
Closeup. Mmmmm. Erin's serving, slightly larger because she's eating for two ;-)

Another closeup of the chicken parm. My portion. The two little pieces kinda look like they're facing each other and holding hands, don't they?

Not chicken parm, but this is what I made the other night. Polenta, 3 slices with garlic/basil creme fraiche from the farmer's market, tomato and basil. 3 slices with roasted red pepper spread, mushrooms and smoked jack cheese. Chicken accidentally crusted with Italian herbs: I poured too much into the pan...whoops. Always check to make sure you opened the "sprinkle" side of the container and not the "pour" side! This food lasted me for two meals. Yum!


I am starting a new tag for posts about houses. I am not looking to buy a house (not really the best idea when you're oh, not making any money). But I do love to look at houses. They're pretty and someday I'll have one. With a yard. And a garden. And a big, big, big kitchen.

I subscribe to Apartment Therapy San Francisco, which often has drool-worthy photos like these:

On occasion, I read Bay Area Home Girl, which is written by a woman I used to babysit for. She writes about houses for sale in the area, which are sometimes overpriced, and sometimes "gasp-omg-what-a-steal!" worthy. I mean, look at the tub in this bathroom! WHAT? And at $750,000, the house is not all that bad price-wise, considering it comes with a garden studio that you could easily rent out for around $900-1000 a month. That is, if you had $800k to spend on a house in the first place.

Anyway, this tag is where I will put photos that fall into the HouseLust category of my brain. Enjoy!

Lofty Goals, Admirable Aspirations?

I have this vision of myself, wherein I bake some sort of homemade baked goodie treat every week, my produce comes from my backyard garden, and all of my meals are food-blog-worthy. Now, I know this is highly unlikely. I know it's just a dream-vision, and probably it's not going to happen. Not anytime soon, anyway. Currently, I attempt one big baking project a month, sometimes two, and while I do plate some nice-looking meals, they're not often creative or new or anything. And let's not even get started on my lack of gardening so far this year.

I've just started reading some food blogs (Smitten Kitchen and Omnomicon in particular) which have made me feel simultaneously inspired and defeated. There are so many wonderful recipes to try! So much delicious food to eat! So many people out there having kitchen adventures of the best kind! So with such a wealth of cooking/baking inspiration out there, why do I so often lean back on my staples rather than leaping into a new recipe? Why do I let laziness get the best of me until I am too pooped from being a couch potato (yes, I am still going to Curves) to bake? I actually have the time right now both to cook and to shop. There are at least 15 recipes on my "to do" list. Not to mention the 8 or so cookbooks that currently live in my apartment. So why am I such a slacker in the kitchen these days?

So I've decided to just make a go of it. I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to do it. Maybe if I say it enough times, it'll happen. Here are some recipes I am particularly looking forward to:
  1. asparagus, goat cheese and lemon pasta (from smitten kitchen)

  2. ranch rugelach (from smitten kitchen)

  3. rainbow cake (from omnomicon)

  4. ice cream cake (from omnomicon)

  5. Chunky Apple Cinnamon Muffins (from Hungry Girl, not online)

So...I've got a bit of cooking and baking ahead of me. I would like to do one new recipe a week. At least. I can do it! And if you're in the Berkeley area and want to come over and make something with me, just let me know!

She is so Hardcore

Probably the best thing to happen at a Sara show ever. Oh, San Diego, I never knew you were so hardcore.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

For my birthday, my mom got me the Hungry Girl '200 Under 200' cookbook (200 recipes under 200 calories). There are a lot of recipes that look really yummy, although many recipes involve some not-so-basic (for me, anyway) ingredients. I think it will just take a little bit of rethinking my 'basic kitchen staples', and I did a bit of shopping for things like Light Vanilla Soymilk and Sugar Free Pancake Syrup. If you're not sure about the recipes, or don't want to buy the book, sign up for the newsletter - she sends out recipes (some from the book) and tips about once a week. Like I said, a lot of her recipes look great, and I'll try to document and post whenever I try new ones!

Today, I made the Big Fat Blueberry Muffins.

The ingredients, all lined up like ducks in a row (not really). Please note that I am not advertising for any of these companies; this is just what I bought and used. The brown sugar (in the plastic canister) is from Trader Joe's, in case you're looking to brand-copy. The Lucerne carton (back right) contains egg-substitute (a la Egg Beaters). Who knew...the Safeway brand contained less salt (and was cheaper) than the Egg Beaters brand! And yes, the Smuckers brand of syrup was the healthiest option and had less fake-sounding ingredients than the other 4 sugar-free syrups at the store. The email/web-version of the recipe suggests freezing the blueberries so that they don't sink to the bottom of the muffins while baking. I popped my berries in the freezer when I started and pulled them out when it was time to add them, and that seemed to work fine (though they really weren't frozen at all).

The dry ingredients, just because they looked pretty...

Muffins, pre-oven. The recipe makes 6 large muffins, but I think next time I will make 8-12 smaller ones...

Muffins, post-baking! They puffed up a LOT. These things are huge!

Close-up of pretty muffins. I like how the blueberries kind of exploded a little in places, and how the "crust" on top is all crackly.

Artistic Muffin. Actually, this is just what happened when I used my flash, and I thought it looked cool. Also, it shows the semi-mushy inside, which I think is more a by-product of my trying to eat it when it was still steaming hot than of the muffins *actually* being mushy. They're really not mushy at all. Toothpick came out clean and everything.

Like I said, next time I may make smaller muffins, but just one these jumbo muffins could be breakfast. Next up...Chunky Apple-Cinnamon Muffins.

Friday, May 22, 2009

One More...

Thanks to Sara, I am now looking at this lovely blog called Brooklyn Bride. And this picture made me stop scrolling through the first page of lust-worthy pictures to stare at its loveliness. I'm loving the lanterns reflecting in the water, and how the even the tables seem to glow a little. Simply gorgeous. And that's it for crazygirl wedding stuff for today, I promise. The end!

Speaking of Crazy...

American Apparel cracks me up. This is ridiculous. Because nothing says comfy for pregnant ladies like a UNITARD. Have the American Apparel people not heard that pregnant ladies have to pee a lot? Or maybe that they might not like the constrictedness of a unitard? Damn, I don't even like wearing unitards now, and I'm not preggers. Eesh! I thought his was so bizarre that I created an entirely new tag, simply called "ridiculous." I'm sure I'll find other things to put here, but for now...Yo Mama!

For all your stretching and lounging needs.
Because this is way more comfortable than baggy sweatpants and a tank top.

This is what happened when I tried to take a screen shot as the image changed on the website. I think it looks cool. The picture, not the uni.

Because I am a Girl

There is thing about being a girl where you think about weddings. My friend Sara (aka Miss Jane) thinks there is something that happens when a girl hits 25, where you automatically just lose your mind. She might be right. Though I have to admit, I have been thinking about weddings for a while. As far as I can remember, I wasn't the little girl dressing up in wedding dress-up clothes and dreaming of the big day. I think I had a dress-up wedding gown of sorts, but I wasn't one of those girls you see in movies and such who "has always dreamed of what her wedding would be like" and all that. But probably since about college or so, I have had ideas. I know I want a simple wedding, outdoors, small and fun and casual.

Don't take this as a sign that I'm ready to actually get married. I'm not even ready to move in with The Boy, much less take that leap into marriage. I am happily content having my own apartment, a place to call my own that I don't have to share with anyone. I love having my own space and I see no need to rush into moving to that next step.

HOWEVER, I am a girl. And I can't help thinking about weddings, especially since it's "wedding season," and one of my closest friends just got engaged. It was no surprise - she and her fiance bought a house together a few months ago, and we all knew it was bound to happen at some point soon. We'd all been waiting, and it's fun that it's officially official. Anyway, my brain has reverted back into wedding-mode. I got out of it after Katie and Randy's wedding last year, but here we go again!

Sara posted this lovely picture on her blog, which didn't help with my wedding-on-the-brain situation. I think I might be in love with this dress. Click the picture to enlarge; it's worth it.
Practically speaking, I love it because it has straps wide enough to hide a bra strap. The neckline is low-cut enough to avoid the awkward large-chest-uniboob-disaster that high-necked dresses and shirts present. It's not so low-cut as to become a cleavage fest. The back is gorgeous. It's elegant, drapey, and gosh I love it. I will not be one of those crazy girls who buys a wedding dress before she is even engaged, but I will lust after this one a bit. Sigh... It's from the J. Crew Fall 2009 line, in case you were wondering. And if Sara hadn't linked to it on her blog, I wouldn't have gone looking for it or anything, so, um, I'm not crazy?

Crazy or not, I dare you to tell me it's not gorgeous.

Why I Hate Sara

Ok, so I don't hate her at all. But I am incredibly jealous. Oh, Sara, you lucky lucky lucky lucky girl. Damn.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Glee

Hold the phones! My good friend Paul Peglar made a little appearance at the end of the episode. Doing what else but playing the piano while the glee club sang Journey ("Don't Stop Believing"). If you know Paul, you know how appropriate this is.

The episode's ending made me want to stick around to watch more, just because these kids are pretty talented, and I'm a sucker for nostalgia. I can't resist high school a cappella and musical theatre, what can I say? Ah, the glory days...just kidding. But it was pretty fun to watch. And it was a successful little teaser for the season, which apparently doesn't start until fall. Cruel!

If you missed it and want to check it out at :-)

Also, this movie is advertised on the Glee homepage. Looks totally cheesy, but also like a good movie to see with your fellow unemployed girlfriends, perhaps while drinking.

Job Hunt Update

Things have been a little busy lately, so I thought I'd write a little update about what's been going on in the job hunt category.

  • Temp Job #1: Reading surveys aloud to middle schoolers in Oakland. So far, 2 days worked, 2.5 hours per day, at $10.25 an hour. I should have 3 more days like this next week. It's not too bad; it's actually kind of fun stepping into the middle schoolers' classrooms for an hour or so. I had a great class - everyone wanted to take the survey (they could opt out), and for the most part they were well-behaved and respectful. We'll see how next week goes.
  • Temp Job #1: Data Entry of sorts. I am working with 3 Excel spreadsheets to determine which people from the master list should be on the company's fundraising mailing list. Today was my first day, and I stared at Excel, 4 spreadsheets open at once, from 9-5. I was taken out to lunch by a dear friend who works near the office in Downtown Oakland. That was nice. The Excel stuff not so much...hard on the fingers, hard on the eyes. But a job is a job, and it paid a whole $11 an hour. Not much. But it'll have to do for now. We'll see once I get that unemployment check with my temp work wages taken out of it...but for now it's giving me something to do at least.
And now on to This Week (and last week) In Interviews...
  • I had a (brief) meeting with the CEO of a Growth Capital Investment Place Of Some Sort. I'm still not entirely sure what they do, and I am pretty sure he just met with me because I'm a friend of a friend of a friend. After our 15 minute conversation, it was pretty clear that there was no job to be had. He said he wasn't looking to hire someone for another few months, and I could tell he wasn't really interested when I realized I have no experience in (or particular passion for) finance. Oh well.
  • I sat in on half of a group interview for a position in a school's student resource center. After an hour-long slideshow about the school's mission statement, student body, general environment, etc. it was revealed that the hours for the job include weeknights and weekends. Too bad this was mentioned nowhere on the job description online. Or at any point in time before the end of an hour-long presentation. Oh, and by the end of the one-hour session, the "interview" part hadn't even started. OY. Too bad I had been in San Francisco for 2 hours prior to the "interview" waiting around in between the brief meeting with the CEO (above), so it felt like I had wasted 3 hours of my life, plus 4 hours travel time. I was not in a good mood last night.
  • However, I had a great (I thought) interview with a cool media company, also in San Francisco. It's kind of far from BART, and it's only a temporary freelance gig, but it would be doing project coordination and I'd pick up some good skills while working with really cool people making some cool videos and websites and such. No word yet, but we shall see.
  • I have a phone interview tomorrow with a company I would love to work for. They're in Berkeley, and they are an arts company, and I don't want to say more to jinx it or whatever...but I like the work they do, and even though it would just be an executive assistant/office manager position, it would be great to work there.
  • I got a phone call from a real estate development consulting firm today, thanking me for applying for an executive assistant position that I honestly don't remember applying for. And I keep a spreadsheet with every position I apply for, including date, company, position, and status of application. So I would know. Anyway, the girl describing the position to me is the person who currently has the job and is leaving. She is one of those people who loves being an executive assistant (she told me so), and told me how it's hectic and crazy, he travels constantle. She prepares detailed itineraries and makes sure his presentations are ready when he gets to the other offices. She gets her boss coffee. She was honest, and said this is not the kind of assistant role that could transition into something else, as there isn't really anywhere to go in the company (it's small, and they have no marketing team, etc. and assistants don't become consultants or anything). This is just not the job for me. So I said my thank yous and declined to come in for future interviews.

And that's that so far. I'm tired, and I didn't eat dinner (and I'm only starting to get hungry at 10pm, ugh), and I'm kind of looking forward to a Thursday of grocery shopping and apartment cleaning. And a lovely Memorial Day weekend full of picnics and relaxation.

Wish me luck with the phone interview tomorrow!


I am watching Glee right now. I got all excited because it was advertised that Kristen Chenoweth was in it. Apparently she is in one episode. This is disappointing. The show isn't bad (so far - it's only been 10 minutes), but I have a feeling it will only appeal to former high school musical theatre kids like me. Like I said, it's only been about 10 minutes. I haven't laughed out loud, or even thought anything was funny so far...but I guess there's just part of me that sort of likes it for nostalgia's sake or something.

Anyone who didn't spend their high school (and/or college) years in theatre watching? Thoughts on the show?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Season Finale Season...Already?

Last night, The Boy and I watched the season finale episodes of The Office and 30 Rock. We totally called the ending of The Office before it happened, but overall, I was pleased with the episode (particularly Pam's little personal volleyball history). I really thought it had jumped the shark when Michael quit, but last night gave me a bit of hope. As for 30 Rock, it didn't fail me. It never does. I want to be Tina Fey. Can anyone make that happen? Thanks. Oh, and Sara made a little guest appearance, which I may never forgive her for. Kidding. But hey Sara? I'm jealous.

On an unrelated (sort-of) note, I was listening to Amy Poehler on Fresh Air the other day, and I am convinced that we should all just be friends. Or at least have a slumber party. Seriously folks, and I'm just going out an a totally crazy and pseudo-psycho limb here, but I totally want to have a slumber party with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. And the other guests would be Jessie Gaskell and Jackie Honikman, because I think the 5 of us would laugh a lot, and maybe come up with some ridiculous ideas. And eat "night cheese."

Ok, I've just crazystalkerscared myself. But seriously, if we're all talking in hypotheticals here, HYPOTHETICALLY, wouldn't that be a hilarious night?

It would. You know it would.

Afternoons In My Apartment

I have come to love my apartment in the early afternoon. Particularly now, as the springtime weather is at the perfect not-too-hot and not-too-cold temperature. In the hours between noon and approximately 4pm, there is not much in this world that is more pleasant than reclining on my couch with a good book, the cool spring breeze passing through opened windows, and the apartment flooded with sunshine. It is just so lovely. So lovely, in fact, that I cannot possibly capture it in words. I've tried to photograph the afternoon in my apartment, but to no avail. There is simply no way to capture the peaceful, breezy deliciousness of it all.

The sun follows the path of my kitchen and living room windows each day, which can turn my apartment into a bit of a stifling greenhouse if the weather is too hot. But not today. Today is just lovely, and I am enjoying the relaxation (after a day of temp work training and a job interview! More on that later...).

And when the weather gets a bit warmer, I will read with a fan blowing, and a small bowl of frozen grapes at my side.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ups and Downs

Unemployment is a tricky thing. I am trying to stay positive, to stay motivated, to stay happy and sane and all that. I am trying to be grateful for the little bit of low-paying and sporadic temp work I am actually getting (5 days, around 2-4 hours a day, for $10.25 an hour, yeah). I know that I should be glad for the work, and in some ways I am. I mean, there are many people who would jump at a job that, even sporadically, pays $10.25 an hour. I've just been spoiled, I guess. It will be good to do some sort of work (not that job-hunting isn't work - trust me, it is), and I think it will be good for my karmic energy and whatnot. Putting positive-worker-bee-energy out there, telling the universe I am ready and willing to re-join the job force. Not that I really believe in that karmic energy of the universe stuff...but maybe I do. I'm not really sure, but the point is that it can't hurt to accept some work when it's offered, no matter what the pay or how much I don't want to wake up at 7am.

Some days are better than others. Some days, I remember that I have an extremely supportive network of friends and family; people who are willing to put in a good word or hand off my resume to someone they know, or even just come over and hang out while I clean my apartment. Some days, I wake up feeling well-rested. I go to Curves, I walk to Berkeley Bowl, I tackle a cleaning project. I feel good about myself and my day's activities, and when The Boy gets home from work, we eat a delicious meal. Some days, I really like being a pseudo-housewife (or as I call it, an apartment-girlfriend), and I think that if I just didn't have to go back to work, I could be very very happy. I would have time to volunteer or take classes, and I could stop stressing about finding a job and just enjoy myself.

And then, some days are worse. I am tired, I am sore, I'm not sleeping well - and I feel like I'm wasting my life, my time, my energy. I think that all I want is to get a "normal" day job, because my brain just doesn't function well with the multiple-part-time-flexible-hours kind of work. As much as it pains me to admit it, I'm a 40-hour-a-week-desk-job kind of girl. Oh wait, it doesn't pain me at all. I'm not ashamed to admit that I like the stability of knowing exactly how much my paychecks will be, and when I will receive them. I like having a place to go every day, and the sometimes great/sometimes awful coworker interactions. I know not everyone likes this kind of routine, but I love it. And I miss it. I'd like to say I never thought of myself as being an office rat, and that I'm shocked that this is where I want to be, but it really makes sense. I like routine, I like patterns, and I've always chosen the desk job over the food service or retail job.

BUT THEN I think to myself that (not so) secretly, I would kind of like to not have to work. To just continue on with this lifestyle of being (sort of) a homemaker. I like the idea of having just my home and myself to worry about, to have the freedom to walk a walk to my local grocer midday for fresh produce that I'll use that night when I prepare a delicious meal. To get together with friends midday, and to read. Lots of reading. Maybe some gardening. Maybe some napping.


I don't know exactly what I want, and I know that's ok. I know it's normal to have a quarter-life-crisis, or whatever you want to call it. It's perfectly alright to be 25 and not know what (holycrapI'm25) I want to do with the rest of my life. Or even what I want to do with the rest of my week. Or day. Or hour. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. Seriously though, logically I know that it's ok to be in flux, and to not have found my One True Passion In Life and all that. But emotionally, irrationally, illogically, it can be very, very frustrating.

And that's my little unemployment rant for the day. I had a nice workout this morning, I'm going to the mall with a friend this afternoon to get these shoes my mom gave me for my bday, and I'm looking forward to seeing Sara on 30 Rock tonight. It's a beautiful day, and I am going to take a nice little nap and read the new Real Simple. Oh, and apply for jobs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ramble Ramble

I have been a little bit MIA lately, mostly because, well, I don't know. I've been working out at Curves 5 days a week (6 last week, because they had Mother's Day Mimosas on my birthday), and trying not to spend too much time sitting on my butt with the TV/computer. I've been eating well, but not amazingly well (because of birthday dinners galore last week), but I'm ok with that. Getting up in the mornings and working out has me feeling better - there's something to be said for getting up and out of the house at least once a day :-) Granted, there are days like today, when I was home by 10am and proceeded to watch TV and job-hunt online until 4pm. I snacked (on healthy snacks) but never ate a real meal, and now, at 5:45pm, I find my stomach growling for dinner. Salmon from the farmer's market tonight. I think it's a garlic, lemon and dill kind of night. Mmmm.

Anyway, it's been a lovely last few days. My birthday, as I mentioned, was on Mother's Day, and I had a lovely dinner at Jupiter with friends on Saturday night. The Boy surprised me with a giant cake (chocolate with raspberry in between the layers, my favorite), and when the 12 or so of us had our fill, I started passing it out to random people at the restaurant. It was way more fun than I thought it would be - people really appreciated the free cake, and it was fun to suddenly connect with a bunch of strangers (the free drink from one table and all the happy birthday wishes didn't hurt)! I highly recommend bringing a cake to your next bar/restaurant party experience and passing out slices to anyone who wants some. Fun!

On my actual birthday, I went to Curves for a mimosa and a workout, and came home to crash on the couch for a bit. The Boy and I had a lovely little picnic lunch on his balcony until it got too cold, when we walked back to my place to read on the couch for a few hours. (I just finished Nefertiti, which was excellent) We went to his hockey game later that evening, where he scored a birthday goal for me (and his team won!), and came home for some cake. It was quite relaxing, and really a nice birthday.

This post has been rambling on a bit, so I'm going to go take my laundry out of the dryer and marinate my salmon. Have a good night!

Cake! Birthday! Fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Little Updates

Just a little round of updates, since it is a beautiful day and I am actually quite busy. Here are some fun things - happy Thursday!
  • As I write this, I am watching "A Baby Story" on TLC. A 22 year old girl is preggers because her dog ate her birth control pills, and she thought she wouldn't get pregnant with "just 1 month off the pills." I am often amazed at the idiocy of people. I mean, she seems like a nice girl and all, but come on.
  • Sara shared this website, TiltShiftMaker, today, and it's really cool. Takes pictures you've taken and manipulates them slightly so that they look like photos of miniature models. I happen to love miniatures in general, so I think this concept is pretty rad. Can't wait to try it!
  • Product Body, my favorite body product place, is having a sale to commemorate the anniversary of its husband and wife owners. When you buy a regular-price item, you get a gift certificate for $13 (it's their 13th anniversary). Cute :-)
  • This week hasn't been the easiest so far when it comes to my "diet" - I've been really good about breakfast, and mostly about lunch, but dinners are proving to be a little tricky, what with all the celebrating. My birthday is Sunday, and I'm going out to Jupiter on Saturday night, and probably for Thai Brunch on Sunday. And I'm going to Fenton's tonight. Oh, and I took Dana out for Indian on Monday for her birthday. Other than that (meaning Tuesday and Wednesday nights so far), though, I've been making some very good and healthy dinners here. The Boy and I are cooking at Dana's on Friday, so we should be pretty healthy there too. But yeah...quite a few unhealthy dinners this week, so I'm trying to be better about snacking and such to make up for it. :-)
Time to's a beautiful day in my neighborhood!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Curves Meal Plan, Day 1

Today was the first day of my new eating plan, so for the sake of documentation, I thought I would provide a little food diary of sorts.

Breakfast: 1/2 cup egg substitute (Safeway brand eggbeaters), 2 veggie sausages (Morningstar farms brand), 1 slice whole wheat bread (homemade). I added 1/2 a roma tomato and 1/4 an orange bell pepper to my eggs, in addition to a little salt-free multi-spice mix from Trader Joe's. The things I added were on the "free things" list (veggies and spices that you can eat in whatever quantities you want, though I assume you can't go too crazy). All in all, it was pretty good. The sausage tastes good, but the texture is (as Dana confirmed, upon my telling her about it) not unlike that of a dry sponge. I learned quickly that it was pretty good if you cut it up and ate it with the eggs though, so I think next time I'll just crumble it in as part of the scramble. All in all, a tasty and filling breakfast. I didn't even eat the whole piece of bread, I was so full!

On to lunch (I skipped a morning snack): I followed the recipe in the Curves book for tuna salad, 3 oz. of tuna (in water) with 2 tbs of light mayo. I added 1/2 a tomato and some celery, dill, pepper, lemon juice and red onion (all "free" items), and decided that 2 tbs of mayo was way too much. Next time, less mayo! I ate it with 6 baby carrots and a string cheese (and the other half of my bread from breakfast, and was quite full for a few hours.

Afternoon snack: 1 rice cake with 2 tbs peanut butter. I didn't quite use 2 tbs. It was good, and was a great little snack to tide me over between lunch and dinner.

Dinner: I took Dana out to dinner for her birthday, and we had some very delicious Chicken Tikka Masala and Sag Paneer, with Garlic Naan and rice. I didn't eat too much rice, and I only had 1.5 of the 4 slices of Naan, and while this was definitely not on my meal plan, it was delicious and worth the splurge for a good friend's birthday. Let's just ignore the fact that my birthday is on Sunday, and I'm going out for pizza/drinks on Saturday night. Shhh.

Dessert: 1 dark chocolate covered frozen banana (Trader Joe's). Delicious, and not too bad for you. According to the ladies at Curves (and common sense), you can trade one snack for one dessert, as long as it's not overboard. :-)

This is the rose I got at Curves this morning. They were having a little baby shower for one of the staff members, complete with games and mimosas (skipped the mimosa, myself, trying to be good in anticipation of my splurgey dinner). I guessed the closest to her pregnancy weight, so I got a little goodie bag with a Curves towel, and every person who came to work out today got a pink long-stemmed rose. Lovely!

Happy Birthday to Dana, and Happy 1st Day of pseudo-diet to me!

The Painted Peach

I'll be putting up a post later today with photos and such from my first day on my new pseudo-diet/food plan, but first, I want to tell you about The Painted Peach. It's my friend Elissa's new (ish) food blog, and it is delightful. Her recipes are mouth-watering, and the way she writes about them makes them sound totally doable. Check her out!

And oh yeah. Her pictures will make you drool.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Auto-Tune the News

My mom sent this to me, and it's pretty great. Check out the first video below, and click here for the second.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rainy Day and Happy News!

It is raining here in Berkeley, and I kind of like it. Mostly, I think, because I am warm and cozy in my apartment, and I've already gone to Curves today. I also went to the grocery store for milk and chocolate pudding's a healthier dessert than ice cream and cookies, and I LOVE chocolate pudding. Mmmm I am going to make some this afternoon! On days like this, I like sitting on the couch with a book, watching the rain outside my window, and that is precisely how I plan to spend my afternoon. After a hot shower, and taking a break to watch Ellen, of course.'s a nice day. The Boy and I are going to REI tonight to pick up some things for his 6-week backpacking trip this summer. He is doing a 12-mile or so hike tomorrow with some of his friends, and the weather prediction is for more rain (have fun, guys!), so there are a few things he wants to pick up tonight. Like special hiking pants that are not made of denim. Yeah.

So yes, I will sit in my nice little apartment and enjoy the rain. My friend Caitlin sent me this great video from the Google Chrome team - it's super cute. Check it (and the others) out!

And what is the happy news? My wonderful wonderful, wonderful beyond wonderful friend Erin (also known as genius poetess E.C. Messer - examples of her work here, here, and here-click Poetry, E.C. Messer) is moving here. I seriously love this girl. We became friends in college, when I was a freshman and she a sophomore, so grown-up with an apartment and a kitchen. We would bake delectable treats and watch movies and play dress-up (or maybe I would just imagine life in her amazing wardrobe) and just have a grand old time. She got a kitten named Gertrude, and wore cool things like brooches and hats with veils, and has a large collection of cool books and vintage...things. She is just all around awesome, and we make a pretty fierce duo if I do say so myself. And she has been far away in Chicago, becoming a Master of Fine Arts at SAIC for the last few years, and she's moving back to CA in a month, and has plans to move to the SF Bay Area in August.

So yes. This is happy news. Happy news, indeed.