Saturday, November 27, 2010

Salted caramel hot chocolate

Ever since I saw this on the Starbucks holiday drink menu, I've been wanting to try it. I mean, come on? How many perfect elements can you fit into ONE drink?!

Until, that is, I looked up the nutrition stats online. 450 calories, 16g of fat? Um, no thanks.

So, tonight, I decided to made up my own (much healthier) version:

Healthy Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate for 1


In a small saucepan, bring 1 mug of almond milk to a low boil. Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 4 tbsp sugar-free caramel Torani syrup. Whisk together, until smooth. Add Splenda and sea salt to taste.
Sip, and enjoy guilt free. This version has 80 calories and ZERO grams of fat.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

I first saw this lovely idea over on Melanie's blog and thought it would be a fantastic way to start my Thanksgiving morning. (Well, that and a 10 mile run to make room for all the TURKEY!)

So today, in no particular order, I am thankful for:
My husband and best friend:

My healthy and supportive family:

(I'm thankful for Mom too, but she wouldn't get on the swing...)

Wonderful friends
Long runs:

A body that LETS me go on long runs
My job, especially in this economy

My treadmill:

Wine :)
Eclectic 24 and good music in general
A warm (well, not so much lately), safe place to call home
Curling up with a good book:

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea
My yoga practice (which I promise to stop neglecting)
Spinning classes with Sami - Hooooo!
Modern Family

Fall colors
Long talks with old friends
This amazing life

That's it - 4 minutes, and so very much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - gobble gobble!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I hate global warming

A list of the reasons why I HATE global warming:

1. It didn't get get truly COLD until this weekend. (This is the first 10 day forecast where it doesn't get above 70 once!)

2. Having to wait to wear cute seasonally appropriate warm clothes:

(I missed the Uggs! And, my blanket-sweater. Mmm, cozy.)

3. Farmer tans from running in tanktops/shorts. See exhibit below:

May I direct your attention to November 4th. The day I RAN to Alhambra to pick our car up from servicing? NINETY FIVE. Yes, you read that correctly.

Or how about November 13th, my first post-wedding long training run? Relief - only 80 degrees. Yet I still managed to come home sun-burned. In NOVEMBER - lovely. (Yes Mom, I was wearing sunscreen.)

It's no secret that I love Fall, probably more than any other season. And this year, I feel gipped, Mother Nature. I'd like my money back. What's that you say? You don't offer refunds?

Earlier this year, I read that book, No Impact Man, and it got me thinking about all the ways I am contributing to the warming of our planet. And for awhile, I was doing a REALLY good job of improving my wasteful behaviors. Like only using a cupful of water to brush my teeth. And walking/running all my local errands. Or, the great paper-towel embargo (which was is NOT so fun - oh, the LAUNDRY! I swear, I am washing more towels than Burke Williams every day.)

But I'm getting disheartened. I need to see some results, people! I mean, how many paper towels will it take to GET.FALL.BACK where it belongs on the calendar. You know, in September?

Please, PLEASE just don't hit me with winter next week...I really just don't think I can take it...

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Runs' in the family (get it?!?)

To say running is a huge part of my life would be a total understatement.

As I mentioned here, I signed on for another year of daily running, but even more exciting is that this time, I've got company! My sister, Kiki, decided to take up the daily run challenge with me, and has started her very own blog about it! I couldn't be happier!

So far this year, I've been shaking things up in my running routine.

After a year straight of daily runs (1012 miles, WOOT!) things were getting too easy. Not like I am a sucker for punishment or anything like that, but I just wasn't seeing the same benefits of my daily runs anymore.

Why not?
1. I was running too slow. So, now I am picking up the pace.
2. I was running too long. So, hello - intervals!
3. I wasn't challenging myself. So, I'm doing hill work (oh, joy...)
4. I wasn't cross-training. So, I joined a gym (Equinox, swoon) and started spinning.
5. I HURT EVERYWHERE. So, I added yoga classes at the gym and started icing and foam rolling. (I LOATHE foam rolling, BTW, but, I must begrudgingly admit, it helps.)

See? Lots of changes.

One thing that has really helped me run faster is focusing on pacing and turnover. (Runner's World suggests optimal turnover is 180 steps per minute. At first this feels like your legs are on crack, but you get used to it.)

What's getting my pace up these days? New running music:

I'm hoping all these changes will help me to a 10K PR next month, here:

(I'm hoping for under 55:00)

And, I'm following this training plan in hopes of finishing under 2:00 in the Huntington Beach 1/2 marathon in February:

Monday, November 8, 2010

In with the new

Plenty of people warned me that with marriage comes change. And I listened, I did. But really, kind of with one ear only. ("in one ear and out the other" comes to mind...) I figured, with 4 years under our belts, and having lived together for the past 2, what, really would change?

There was nothing particularly spectacular about this past weekend, but it sure did kick off a wave of change.

On Friday, there was this:

My old desk chair was so uncomfortably worn out that it was time for something new. This one has padding in all the places, where sadly, I do not (if you catch my drift..) and a full back that supports my neck when I start to nod off on conference calls. Um, that never happens...

This chair is SO much better.

On Sunday, it was this:

This tea is all the rage in the healthy-blogsphere. Since I haven't been able to win it in any giveaways, when I saw it at Cost Plus last night, I decided it must be worth the hefty 7.99 price tag. 17 bloggers can't all be wrong, can they?

Actually? Yes, they can. I should've saved my money and bought 3 more boxes of my old favorite:

Don't get me wrong. It's not like it was awful, but it sure didn't live up to the hype. Oh well.

Sandwiched between all that, we unofficially started house hunting. I'd say we've probably looked at 30-40 houses over the past 2 years, just to get an idea what is out there and how far our housing dollars would stretch. But, this weekend something changed.

We found the first house that I think could actually be a contender:

And it is comfortably affordable. Like, wouldn't-blow-our-nest-egg comfortable. Like, one-income-family comfortable. I didn't think this existed.

I've been daydreaming about it all day. Can you imagine cooking in this kitchen?

(Probably my favorite room in this house, but really, the whole thing is beautiful.)

But there's a catch. I don't love the neighborhood. I mean, the immediate neighborhood within a 2-3 block radius is freaking adorable. But, the major streets bordering the neighborhood? Kind of dumpy. Supposedly it's an up-and-coming area, but, what if it never quite gets there? And how long is it gonna take? (Patience is not one of my strong suits...)

So here is my question:
Is the trade-off worth it? How much does the neighborhood matter if you love the house, and love the price even more?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I have a confession to make. (I skipped Spinning this morning. And I had already reserved my bike. Bad Betty!)

Why did I skip spinning? Because my body is EXHAUSTED. I am still (STILL!) jet-lagged, more than a week after getting home. I have been passing out on the couch somewhere around 9:00 every night, and yet, struggle to get out of bed NINE HOURS LATER.

Huh? I NEVER get jet lag. Never. I firmly believe it is all mental. I really do believe that if you put your mindset in the time zone you're travelling to, when stepping foot on the plane, that the mental clock is much more powerful than the body's clock.

Clearly, I am wrong, and this interminable exhaustion is my body's giant f-you to my mind.


Instead, I baked!

pumpkin cheesecake tartlet

(Okay, not so much "baked" per se, considering this is a refrigerator treat. But still!)

I'm planning on making a version of this for Thanksgiving, but need to work out a few kinks in the recipe. Stay tuned for the final results!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back to life. Back to reality. Back to blogging.

I'm We're back.

From here:

And this:

To here:

And this:

But that's okay. Truth be told, I'm such a sucker for routine, that I've really missed the normalcy.

And, somewhere in all the wedding/travelling/eating mayhem that was October, November snuck up on me.

Things I'm looking forward to this month:
* Blogging more regularly (including a wedding recap, honeymoon recap and some running updates)
* Hosting my 1st Thanksgiving!
* Cooler temps (please? PLEASE!)
* UCLA tailgates
* Recipe posts

But until I get around to all of that, here's a wedding pic to tide you over in the meantime :)