Friend Makin’ Monday: The Tuesday Version

Hi guys! I have total “Blogger’s Block” tonight, so I decided to do my friend Sarah’s Friend Makin’ Monday a day late.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic! This week the questions come to you from Stephanie who blogs over at Athlete at Heart.

Favorite things

1. Favorite color? (be specific… what shade of blue/green/red etc)

I definitely gravite towards blues, teals, and turquoises. My car is royal blue, aptly named Blueberry, as are my iPhone case, computer case, bedroom walls… lots of blues! I love jewel tones.

2. Favorite piece of clothing you own?

Oh, this is a tough one. I adore my Taffy yoga pants, and a pair of gnome pajamas my first boss gave me. I also have a new skirt I just bought — a maxi skirt, that may end up in the favorite things rotation. As I’m between sizes right now and my jeans are too big, I don’t want to buy new things yet, so skirts and dresses are coming into play more often.

3. Favorite smartphone app?

Another tough one! I probably use my Twitter app the most, followed by Instagram, then Map My Walk and Yoga Studios. I also love Tab, which easily splits a bill in a group of people at a restaurant, A Beautiful mess, which lets you add cute quotes and graphics to photos, and PicShop, which lets me edit photos.

4. Favorite city?

While I of course love my two current home state cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, my heart will always belong in my maiden city of Chicago. Chicago just has so much to do – from the Field Museum, to exploring Grant Park, to the John Hancock Observatory, to Greek town… I just love it there. The amazing food doesn’t hurt, either.

Can't beat this skyline.

Washing Windows at the Willits Tower
Washing Windows at the Willits Tower

5. Favorite strength training exercise?

Uh. I can’t think of anything. Does Yoga count as strength training? Yeah, probably not.

6. Favorite vegetable?

Now we’re talkin’. I love Persian Cucumbers, tomatoes, artichokes, peas, onions, garlic, cauliflower… the only vegetables I don’t LOVE are eggplant and asparagus.

7. Favorite hair product? (shampoo, styling, conditioner etc)

I use Bedhead’s “Dumb Blonde” for shampoo and conditioner, and a bunch of random stuff for styling. I don’t really have a favorite – I don’t spend a ton of time on my hair.

8. Favorite animal?

Giraffe, hippo, penguin, cat. For a long time I had this lovely ridiculous mental image of spreading a beach towel out on a hippo’s belly as it sunned, and sunning on a hippo’s belly, and then I learned that hippos are vicious, vile, creatures, and that idea went out the window. So yeah.

9. Favorite superhero?

Hmmph. I like the idea of the nerd turned super hero, so probably Spiderman. But I’m not a big superhero/comic fan myself.

10. Favorite recipe? (share the details with us)

Aghhh, too many to choose from! Probably my favorite lately is one my husband’s family got me into, named “Fall Apart Beef”. I’m going to butcher this, but roughly, you get a rump roast cut of beef, barbeque it to slightly brown it. Put it in either a crock pot or big pot on low all day with one bottle of cheap red wine and a packet of onion soup mix. You can add sliced mushrooms a few hours in. Serve it over egg noodles. So simple, flavorful, and delicious!

Ok, well, that was fun! Will you participate in Friend Makin’ Monday? How about donating a small amount towards my journey walking 60 miles this fall to help end breast cancer? Every little bit counts! 🙂



Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 5

Hi everybody! Sorry I missed a post yesterday – I got home from Chicago and have been catching up on work and such!

This week brings a disappointing weigh in – I’m up one pound. I think it’s pretty much impossible for me to reach 20 pounds lost in the next five weeks, but I’m going to keep going because SOMETHING is better than nothing. I’m a little frustrated with this week’s weigh in results because I consistently stayed in my calories on MyFitnessPal for 5 out of 7 days… and did a bunch more cardio this week. I think what set me off was that on Saturday and Sunday I overate. I didn’t go crazy, but I went over on calories by about 300 – 450 on both days (Chicago Pizza and White Castle Onion Rings sent me over the edge.) I’m finding when I’m on a weight loss kick, I need to be damn near perfect in terms of eating and exercise 98% of the time.I guess you can’t have “cheat” days when you’re trying to aggressively lose weight. 🙁

Some of the big important things happening this week are: 1) I should get results from my next Thyroid test. My doctor was concerned about how I was “close” to the hypo-thyroid range last time, so she’s checking it out since it has been six months since my last test. If it’s low, we’ll have a good indicator of why my body should be nicknamed “Sally Slow” when it comes to weight loss.

2)Despite this week’s gain, I’m not going to get too down. Here’s why:

Weight loss is about choices. In Chicago on Saturday, I really WANTED a cream-filled Dunkin Doughnut for breakfast… but I also want to lose weight. What did I order? An eggwhite flatbread and unsweetened iced tea. It was ok – not anything spectacular, but for a healthy and filling breakfast item, it was A-OK. Then on Sunday, as I dashed through the airport, I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. Boy, Taco Bell would be good, I thought… and then once again that little internal voice kicked in and I walked away with a veggie sandwich on whole wheat.

It felt really good to see my family, and despite the sad reason we were there, it was a good way to remember cousin Josh’s life by celebrating him with people we loved. Here I am with my cousin Jenny and my two younger-generation cousins (Children of my cousin Michelle). Aren’t we cute? We’re definitely all related. In closing, I’ll leave you a picture of the thing that probably de-railed me – the Chicago pizza. I only had four small square pieces (they’re cut in squares, not wedges), but I bet the salt and grease blew up my tummy. Yay.

I thought four pieces was a reasonable serving, but maybe next time I need to have two. (They weren’t that big, I swear!!!) Ah, well.. the weight loss jig continues. And I guess if I lost weight as quickly as I wanted, I’d have nothing to blog about, right? 😉

Until next time – make good choices, keep on sweatin’, and come back next Tuesday, where I will report a loss even if I have to chop off my left arm to do it 🙂 PS: Last day to enter the Homemade Harvey and Whole Foods Giveaway!



My new gym

Fancy Matador Recreation Center

Today, I had a little bit of a stomach ache. Today, I also decided I was going to the gym – no ifs, ands or buts about it. And then the stomach ache got worse.  My intentions were good. But my stomach was not good. I pondered this over and over. The husband chimed in. And then I thought, “No. You know what? If I do the same thing I’ve always done, I’m going to get the same results I’ve always got.” So I got dressed. I went to the gym. And I walked for 45 minutes on an incline, and my stomach ache went away. Figures. I’ve had the not so shocking realization lately that to lose weight, you kind of need to be all or nothing. It’s not 60% here and 90% there. It’s got to be mostly all or nothing. If I keep putting out half attempts to lose weight, I’m going to get half success in return. So I bucked it up, grabbed a magazine and got my butt walkin’.

Rock Climbing Wall

I’m super spoiled to have a new and beautiful gym at my disposal – the CSUN Student Recreation Center. It’s included with my tuition, so I get to use it for “free”. There’s a rock climbing wall that I’ll surely hit up when I’m a little bit more in shape, three separate cardio equipment areas, and an indoor track that looks down into a racquet ball court. It’s snazzy! There’s also cute copy all over the place, like a sign above the water fountain that says “This is not a spittoon, others will be drinking soon.” Clever. Well played, CSUN copywriter, well played.

Blurry fancy robot pod machine thing because I was in motion!

What I love most, however, is the fancy machine-robot-pod- TV-thing that’s attached to every cardio machine. I can plug in my head phones and watch music videos, TV, On Demand, or… my favorite… RUN THROUGH SCENIC PLACES! It’s cool, yo. Last week I ran through the downtown Chicago Loop, which was kind of hard because inevitably it got me thinking about Chicago Hot Dogs and how if I was there I’d stop and get some caramel corn from Nuts on Clark and… You get the picture. This is what happens when you’re obsessed with food. Even whilst burning off the aftermath of said food, you’re still daydreaming and salivating and longingly thinking, “Oh, fattening delicious thing, wish you were here.”

Tonight, I walked through the Swiss Alps, feeling little tinges of jealousy here and there because my sister was actually in Switzerland all weekend, probably walking among the REAL Swiss Alps. However, this virtual activity thing is super cool, and CSUN’s probably getting sick of me tweeting about it because every time I use the robot machine pod thing I have to tweet them because I loves me some fancy robot pod machine things. It’s just a fun little perk that makes fitness a little more exciting, and a little more interactive.

Food Network Magazine: To remind you of all the things you can't eat because you'll have to work out longer to burn them off.

So yeah. I enjoyed a little virtual exercise, and then because I like to torture myself, I read the new Food Network magazine and pondered their recipe for buttercream with egg whites. It was a positive exercise experience – one I hope to replicate very soon.

Do you have any perks or special things about working out that make the experience a little better, especially if you’re naturally lazy about fitness, like yours truly? Tell me your secrets!

(PSST: See that little indentation next to the red towel? That area perfectly cradles an iPhone or iPod. It’s kind of creepy. Like they designed it that way. I’m telling you, these are state of the art fancy robot pod machine things!)


PS: Big thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway, and an even bigger thank you to EatSmart for sponsoring a scale! I hope to have more exciting giveaways soon. We have a lucky winner, and it’s Sharon, who said – ” I’m so happy to be your winner! Just tonight I needed a scale to weigh out flour for a recipe – this is wonderful!” Congrats, Sharon!


Post Vacation Weekly Weigh In

This morning after getting my butt kicked in kickboxing, I headed over to the scale. I wasn’t filled with dread, like I usually am, because lately I’ve been feeling… skinny. Maybe it’s because I heard four separate times from relatives on my vacation that I’d lost weight, or maybe it was because I ate Greek Yogurt for breakfast, and in my mind, Greek Yogurt is some magical weight loss elixir. Either way, I stepped on the scale with a kind of cautious optimism, curious about what a week of eating junk food, but only three times a day and in moderate portions, had done to me.

I'm fairly certain my heart stopped for 30 seconds after eating this, but DAMN, it was good.

*Drum roll*

Down. Down half of a pound. Italian beef, hot dogs, pizza, cookies, cheese curds, bratwurst, potato chips, popcorn, vanilla cream Dunkin Donut, twinkies. Down. No kickboxing, no yoga, no treadmill, no tracking. Down.

This has happened to me before. Is it the break from the daily stresses of my life – a busy job, graduate classes, homework? Is it the fact that I’m not eating when I think I “should” and was actually eating when I was hungry? Was it because I was so busy bouncing from Chicago to Minnesota back to Chicago and then all around the state that I wasn’t always eating? I don’t know. But in the future, if vacations could always go this way, I’d be pleased.

All the things I ate last week definitely made me feel like a pig – but the scale showed me this morning… that a pig I am not.

Divine Swine!

Have you ever been surprised by a weight LOSS when on vacation?

A Rumble in the Bronx

A rumble in the Bronx is not just a cheesetastic Jackie Chan movie – it’s also my friend Jason’s hilarious way of saying he’s got some issues in the belly area. All week I’ve also been suffering from a rumble in the Bronx – a sure effect of all the rich food I crammed in my mouth on my vacation. As someone who subsists on greek yogurt, fruit, tons of vegetables and very little meat, my week-long adventure into meat and potatoes land left me feeling a little green.

I didn’t overeat all week (Yay! That’s one benefit of being on the road – you eat 3 solid meals with no snacks), but what I DID eat was salty, greasy, and rich – three things that normally don’t make their way into my weekly eating habits. (Nobody said anything about the weekend, mind you. haha) I started with some cheddar cheese curds in Wisconsin… so fresh they squeak against your teeth!

Squeaky Cheese!

Then, I HAD to have an authentic vienna beef Chicago hot dog that was “dragged through the garden” (Chicagoans term for a hotdog with EVERYTHING, even fiery sport peppers).

Vienna Beef Hot Dog from Portillos

Then, (I had this three times), my ultimate Chicago favorite – a spicy Italian Beef sandwich draped with sweet peppers and nestled into a soft roll with melted cheddar cheese.

Where's the beef?

As you can see, none of these meals win the “A Skinny Person You Shall Be” award, but they all the win the “OMG delicious noms I never get to have” award! When you travel – do you experience adverse physical symptoms in response to what you eat? Or do you play it safe and stick with your usual eating routine?

PSSSST! Do you “like” me? *Bats Eyelashes* Please do! Visit and become a fan today. Thanks so much!

Weekly Weigh In #…I forgot

Hello Bloggies! Happy Friday to you – It’s a super special Friday to me because I work one day next week and then I’m off to Chicago and Minnesota to visit family and see my cousin get married! Exciting! I’ve been lacking on the weekly weigh-in posts – sorry – but believe me, I have been checking in with the scale every Saturday.

Happily this week I’m down another .8 of a pound… making my grand total 5.8 pounds since starting the weight tracking on this blog.


I should probably be more angry that I haven’t lost more, but when I consider my hectic life the past few months, I’m grateful I’m DOWN and not up! 5.8 pounds is a nice chunk of chunky, and I can feel it in my jeans. To be completely honest too, the last time I tracked was… *hangs head in shame* weeks ago. So with all that said, continuing to lose is a small victory for me and I’ve accepted that this particular journey will be long, but that small tweaks ultimately lead to big change over time.

I’ll be challenged many, many times on my upcoming vacation – with Wisconsin’s deep fried cheese curds, Chicago’s Italian Beef, Deep Dish Pizza and wedding cake – but I know that a few slip-ups on a vacation hardly make a downward spiral, or even more important, I don’t need to LET it turn into a downward spiral.

Things will probably be quiet around here next week – I’ll try to check in at least once, but if I don’t, please know that I’m enjoying a few days off work and school and spending time with my awesome family. I hope you have a great week!