Smile, because it’s July 1!

Holy cow – how is it July?! ALREADY?! I just got back from Fitbloggin in Denver and am looking forward to sharing photos from that adventure later, but first I wanted to update you on a few things!

1) Tomorrow we get confirmation of our little one’s gender! I’ll be sharing on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement. If you’re curious how my pregnancy has been going, I post bumpdates on LaLaLyssa.com when I can.

2) I didn’t get to ride my Pedego as much as I would have liked last week because 1) I was gone and 2) It’s been over 96 degrees here every. freakin. day., but I am squeezing in small rides when I can. Yesterday it was awesome because I realized at 4:45 my rent check was due the next day (OOPS), and I zipped onto my bike to race it over to the post office. Our post office is under construction so the parking is notoriously bad, so I considered it a major win win to avoid parking AND get some exercise. I also got to scope out the crazy dark gray skies brewing in tandem with the 98 degree heat. Tornado weather, anyone?

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Speaking of Pedego, would you guys mind taking ten seconds and VOTING for them to win a Superbowl Commercial? It seriously takes just a second and you don’t have to enter anything like your email or anything. Just click the pretty green button and that’s it! Easy as pie, right? (mmm, pie.) (reminder ‘cuz I like to be upfront and it’s just the good thing to do: I’m a Pedego ambassador and received a bike in exchange for my discussion and promotion of it.)

3) I occasionally get to write for my friends at DietToGo.com, and this week, I shared some summer grilling tips. It was fun playing with new tricks like lemon slices on the grill for fish, and as usual, I enjoyed doing some food photography outside. (PS: Kebabs? One of my favorite things to eat. So light and delicious.) Check it out here, will ya? Use lemon slices directly on the grill to cook your fish!

4) You should watch this video of puppies getting their dinner as they grow over the course of a year. Because it’s adorable, and that’s a good enough reason.

 

Biking while bumpin': Adventures of being pregnant with a Pedego

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So what if it’s my helmet and not an actual bump? ;)

When my friend Linda first told me about Pedego’s call for applications for Brand Ambassadors, I was rockin’ a little secret. I was about five weeks pregnant, and I knew that getting a Pedego would be an awesome way to maintain some level of fitness without going crazy during my pregnancy. But, I was struck with that fear of spilling the beans in my application before I hit the supposed “safe” mark of 12 weeks. I noodled about it for a few days and decided to let them know my story, and that yes, part of that story was that I was newly pregnant and plus-sized, and determined to not let my pregnancy be an excuse for abandoning all I knew about the healthiest way for me to live my life.

Well – Pedego agreed it was a good fit, and here we are: me loving my Pedego! I can happily say I’m one week away from being half way through my pregnancy, and I’ve gained one whopping pound. I’m so happy to type that because I had major fears of being plus-sized and pregnant, that I would gain tons and tons of weight and my body, with its fondness of storing every extra calorie, would balloon to massive proportions. Now – I still have 20 weeks to go, and I know a lot can change very quickly, so I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I will start to gain weight, because that’s what happens, the fetus begins to grow and so will my appetite. But I’ve been instructed to try and limit my weight gain to 12 pounds, 25 being the absolute max, and I’m going to work hard to try to stick to those limits.  What does that mean? It means 1) continuing to eat within reason, not depriving myself of cravings, but reminding myself that portion control and healthy choices are best, and 2) continuing to ride my bike and take walks. I want to take my Pedego on more leisure rides, as I’ve mostly been using it to run errands. Running errands on the Pedego is great, but when I use it for grocery shopping, I have an awkward balance of a heaping bike basket and trying to make sure I don’t hit any lumps and dump my dinner :) (See picture… tonight I used it to buy pork chops, lemonade, strawberries, grapes, lemons and a chocolate croissant. That basket was heavy!) (It’s also my fault because I went to the store for pork chops. Everything else just happened to fall into the basket. What can I say? The baby loves fruit! Ha!)

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I also want to check out a prenatal yoga class so I can get my zen on and stretch out some of the parts of my body that are getting achey (lower back!). Someone recently asked me if riding the bike is uncomfortable while being pregnant, and I can gratefully say, not at all. That may change as my stomach gets gigantic, but the nice thing about this bike is I have the step-through model, which means I don’t need to swing my leg over the seat to get on it. Preggo-approved!

So, at 19 weeks, you have a very happy, healthy-feeling prego, thanks to my Pedego. :) Ladies who’ve been pregnant: how did you exercise during those nine months? Even if you’re not pregnant or don’t intend to be, what’s the one form of exercise you never mind doing?

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Things I’m Loving Now

Hello there! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was awesome but went way too fast (don’t they always?). There are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you, so without further ado, here are some of my favorite things on the interwebz right now.

1) This photo by Paul Nicklen, who often photographs for National Geographic. Manatees are one of my favorite animals, and I’m lucky to have had several up close encounters with them having grown up in Florida. A few years ago we took Matt on vacation to Florida, and they were nudging our canoe with their noses. I had to resist the urge to jump in and snuggle with these giant, floating marshmallows.

2) YouDolls. This product was created by two people I worked with a few years back who were toy industry rock stars. I love their idea of a build your own doll — perfect for the little girl who wants a doll that looks just like her. My friends are more than halfway to their Kickstarter goal, and I just made my pledge so I can have a custom dolly, too.  Their YouDolls Luxury Pledge, which comes out to $55 out the door, includes all of this:

– 1 YouDolls customized by you.
– 1 outfit of your choice.
– 4 accessories of your choice.
– 1 Background of your choice (among 13)
– Personalized name on the front of the box.
– Luxury Gift sleeve.
– Kickstarter First Edition Collector Certificate

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3) PixelThoughts.co. My friend Melissa tweeted me this link, and it’s a really cool 60-second meditational tool. I have a bad habit of letting my anxiety spiral out of control (Who? Me? Never!), so this is a neat way to identify one worry, and watch it actually disappear. Give it a try on something that’s been bothering you. It’s worth 60 seconds, right?

4) This post by my friend AJ, which had me cackling with laughter, only because it sounds like something I’d do. (Side note: You DO know the best thing to use for removing nail polish is a tampon, right? Soak the cotton part in remover and you have an awesome scrubby that won’t fall apart.) Brilliant use of resources, AJ, and I hope you got more soup.

5) This meme, because the bump has arrived. 

And there you have it. Have a wonderful Monday, friends!

 

Pedego A Go Go: Biking and following the rules of the road

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

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When I first got my Pedego, the owners of Pedego 101, John and Linda, went with me on our first spin around the neighborhood. I admittedly had never ridden a bike in street traffic, so I was nervous and listening eagerly like a good pupil to make sure I was obeying traffic laws. One of the first things I did was take off in the opposite direction of traffic — a move which Linda politely told me was called “Salmoning”, because salmon go up-stream in the opposite direction of currents. Oops! So I knew right away I needed to do some research on the correct way to bike.

Image from Veldrone.CA

Because they put it much more succinctly and efficiently that I can, the kind people at BikeLeague.org have the following rules on their site.

In all 50 states, people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers.

Here are a few key principles that underpin all US traffic laws:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic
When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning
Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection positioning
When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings.
Self explanatory.

What other rules would you add to this list? Mine is not necessarily a traffic law BUT… always wear a helmet! I love that my nutcase helmet specifically has padding on the inside that is printed with the saying “I love my brain.” Heck yes I love my brain! And you should love yours too. Always wear a helmet!

 

Dunkin Donuts comes to Encino… and a Giveaway!

A few days ago I was trollin’ FB as I do, when a post caught my eye. My friend Melissa had posted about a grand opening for Dunkin Donuts in ENCINO! Encino is about 6 minutes from my house. Color me excited! Now, I’m not a huge donut lover (that’s the hubby), even though there’s a donut in the DCD logo. However, I am a huge lover of the occasional delicious treat, and the Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Kreme donut fits the bill! Also, growing up in Chicago, Dunkin Donuts became a landmark of weekends – whenever a dozen donuts showed up at our house, it officially signified the start of a special weekend.

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Dunkin Donuts is now open from 5 AM to 11 pm in Encino, at the intersection of Balboa and Ventura.

I headed over today for the grand opening and got myself some delicious donuts and lunch. For lunch I chose the egg and bacon sandwich on a pretzel roll. Super yummy! I loved the crunch of salt against the chewy pretzel roll. I also got a massive unsweetened iced tea ($1.99, holla), because DD knows their beverages – no watered down tea concentrates here. (Hubby is a fan of the DD coffee). I loved how all of the staff at the Encino DD were friendly, smiling, and hustlin’. It felt like a taste of the Midwest here in LA!

Bacon and Egg Sandwich on Pretzel Roll with Large Iced Tea - yum!

Bacon and Egg Sandwich on Pretzel Roll with Large Iced Tea – yum!

To celebrate the grand opening of Dunkin Donuts Encino, you have a chance to win a $20 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card! You can use this gift card at any location in the United States – hooray! To enter, use Rafflecopter to submit your entries. The give away starts at 12:00 a.m. on 6/10 (Early birds reading this on 6/9: sorry for the delay!). I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, June 17th. United States only, must be 18+. Good luck – and if you win, get a Chocolate Kreme (or Blueberry Cake!) donut in my honor 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a fan of Dunkin? Visit DunkinDonuts.com to find a location near you :)

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Disclosure: I was offered a $10 giftcard for writing this post and the $20 gift card for giveaway. All opinions are my own and I wanted to share as a Midwesterner happy to see some Midwestern food love coming to California :)

 

Putting the GO in Pedego: Electric Power!

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media. All opinions are my own.

The first time I rode my Pedego and twisted the throttle, I had an unconventional and immediate association with Twlight. Wait, what? I know! How do sparkly vampires with yellow eyes relate to awesome beach cruiser e-bikes? I’ll show you how.

So in this cheeseball scene, right at 0:07 after Edward says “yeah, you need to hunt”, you see Bella flying through the forest. Well, rather you see the bird’s eye view of her looking down. She’s flying like normal and then VROOM! She speeds up. That’s exactly what using the Pedego throttle feature is like. Normal speed, normal speed, pedal, pedal, pedal, and then THROTTLE! VROOM! Vampire lightning speed. I shared this thought with Linda and John on my inaugural ride with them after receiving Cora, and I’m pretty sure they were both thinking “What a weirdo!” but hey… it’s how my brain works 😉

If you’re looking for non-vampirical comparisons, Pedego has a good video on their site that explains the features a little more in-depth.

There are two ways to power yourself: The throttle, which I mention above, and Pedal-Assist, which is like giving a little extra oomph to your pedaling. Pedal Assist is controlled by an LCD screen on the handle bars (that you can also plug a USB into, holla!), and there are five levels of pedal-power. I like using Pedal Assist when I’m tired on a ride home and want a little extra power. If you crank up to five, holy cow, it’s like flying! I’m usually too much of a chicken to go to level 5 on suburban streets, because I’m not the most graceful person on Earth, but I love using level one or two to crank up my power.

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So there you have it. A couple electric rides on your bike, and you’ll soon see that Pedego adds a little sparkle to your pedaling. The yellow eyes and fangs come later 😉