A wonderful weekend

Hi everybody! *waves hello*

I hope you had a lovely weekend. I know I sure did! I’ve been catching up with the hustle bustle from the holidays, and have also started a new full-time social media job (working from home! score!). It’s been a very exciting past few weeks in my household. This weekend was a 3 day weekend for me, and I had a jam-packed few days full of fun. To start, me and my gym buddies all got pedicures. I spoil myself about once a month for a pedicure, and the expense is well worth the hour of relaxation. Don’t our toes look adorable?

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Then, on Saturday, Matt and I enjoyed being spoiled Southern Californians by heading to Malibu, where we frolicked in the surf and sunbathed. 80 degrees on January 18. Yep, that’s pretty spoiled. It was funny because about five feet from our beach sheet, there was a Land’s End catalog shoot going on. The models were wearing big, chunky sweaters over bikini bottoms, and you could tell they were going for the Cape Cod / Nantucket type feel. Not in LA, baby… our beach days here are nice and warm.

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We hiked up to a lookout point above the beach, where the clear sky was a breathtaking backdrop to the blue ocean. Isn’t the view amazing?

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I scuttled around this canyon type thing, and had fun doing some tricep dips as I crawled through. I’m trying to squeeze in exercise wherever I can!

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After the beach, we saw Her. I’m still wrapping my head around that movie; I liked it, sure, but what an odd concept. Sadly it’s a concept that I can see becoming true in the very near future. We already have Siri, how long until our operating systems become our best friends and confidantes and therapists and doctors? Crazy, right?! You should go see it and tell me what you think.

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Today, we woke up early and headed to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. Right now, avocados, oranges, kale, cabbage, onions, potatos, bok choy and different lettuces are the stars of the season. I bought some organic carrots, celery, heirloom tomatoes, and bacon avocados for meals this week. I also picked up a half gallon of raw milk, because I made my own cheese! My dad got me this Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit for Christmas, and I’d been impatiently waiting for a weekend day to make my own mozzerella. More about that in a minute, but first I have to show you the delicious brunch I had today with my friend Timmy, new friends Chris and Travis, and Matt. Our friend Tim’s roommate’s boyfriend (got that?) lives in a beautiful midcentury modern house in the LA hills, and we were invited over today for a super yummy brunch of mimosas, cornflake crusted french toast, hash browns, and red pepper eggs. It was deeeeelicious and was the perfect “cheat meal” to close out my weekend. After we ate, we played Cards Against Humanity (which I am so buying, like now. Damn! I can’t, it’s sold out) and had a grand time guffawing at the incredibly offensive word combinations we came up with. It was an awesome, low key Sunday with delicious food, belly laughs, and great company.

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Now, back to the cheese! A few people have asked me if I’m going to blog the “how to”, but to be honest, I don’t really know how other than to follow the instructions in the booklet that came with the kit. I was nervous about making it, but truthfully, it’s a pretty easy process as long as you measure the temperature of the whey and stick to the general time guidelines. We used raw milk, which is unpasteurized and made me feel all hippie-anarchist. I even drank a little bit…. tastes exactly like “normal” milk. Some people speculate that raw milk can help ease allergies — curious! I’m not a huge milk drinker in general, otherwise I might give that a try. So basically making mozzarella was pretty simple. Here’s a nifty little instagram video I did of it.

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The end result? YUM! It’s not as salty or as squeaky as store-bought cheese, but it has a very light, milky taste. I found it the perfect backdrop for our dinner of caprese salad — sliced heirloom tomatoes with cheese, basil olive oil, salt and pepper. Amazing. AND, one last wonderful thing about this weekend? I put on my previously too tight to button jeans, and while they’re still snug, they button. They’re wearable 🙂 YAY!

So there’s my weekend in a nutshell. I feel so lucky to get the things I get to do — spend time with awesome people, play in sunny So Cal’s awesome beaches, make and enjoy delicious food. I hope you had an equally excellent weekend. So tell me, what did you do this weekend? What was the highlight?

Charmlee Park Hike

Gorgeous Ocean Overlook with Purple Flowers at Charmlee Park

Happy Memorial Day, Double Chinners! I hope you had a long, restful weekend. This weekend I was a busy little bee, but I did it right: mixed social plans with fitness! My friend Jason had raved about a hike at a place called Charmlee Park in Malibu, so I asked him if he’d want to join Matt and I for a Monday hike. This place was absolutely gorgeous!

 

After the hour-long drive, we started off by eating our sandwiches – because as you know, any good workout requires the proper fueling up. I had a turkey sandwich and baked cheetos. Nom, nom.

Fueling up before my workout

Then, we were off! We climbed into a meadow full of amber grains and endless grasses. There were wild flowers everywhere, and bees happily flitted around the blossoms. Giant sprays of yellow mustard popped against the blue sky. See?

And we're off!

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a hike. It was in the low 70s, and a cool breeze showed up every time we huffed and puffed up a hill. I had to stop a few times to take pictures of the local flora, like these pretty purple flowers hiding among some grass.

Cute purple flowers

After a bit of a trek, we arrived at the first vista. Can you imagine living out here?!

Peninsula and flowers at Charmlee

We continued onwards and ended up at the second ocean overlook. At this point I was swooning and thanking my parents for moving us to such a heavenly place.

We huffed and puffed and chugged up a few more hills to check out some “Ranch Ruins”, which were really just like rocks. It’s wasn’t even exciting enough for a picture – with the breathtaking ocean views, a pile of rocks was sort of underwhelming. I took a few more pictures of flowers.

White wild flowers

Happy Hiker!

This was a perfect hike because it was challenging enough – the majority of it wasn’t backbreaking, cardio labor, but there were a few tough hills that had me cursing my excess weight. I really love hiking though, because it’s a great way to work out, socialize, and take in the incredible sights. It doesn’t really seem like exercise. At the end of the hike (about 2.5 hours), I was sweaty, hot and tired – but feeling good after all the endorphins and vitamin D kicked in. Can’t you tell?

Did you do any fun kinds of fitness this weekend? What did you do?