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 thisĀ 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?

Feelin’ Fair at the LA County Fair

This weekend, Matt and some friends and I kicked off the long weekend by heading to the LA County Fair! I’ve always loved going to the fair – where else can you indulge in 100% pure American excess while going on rides, people watching and eating things like the Giant Rib? Don’t answer that… Vegas? It was a beautiful toasty day and as soon as we entered, our eyes were bombarded with signs and smells and colors for all sorts of things, like fried kool-aid and the 15 pound hamburger.

 

Feelin' Corny

I started with some kettle corn that was hot and salty right out of the popper. This actually ended up being a saving grace for me, because I ate enough popcorn to stave off any crazy feasting that otherwise might have ensued. Don’t worry, I still got plenty to eat… After the kettle corn, I decided a flame grilled ear of corn sounded good. Yum, yum – don’t I look happy? The corn was a bargain at $4 when priced against things like our upcoming red velvet funnel cake for $9.

 

 

Red Velvet Funnel Cake

I think one of the best things you can do if you want to experience fair food without the disgusting deep-fried hangover is to go with a couple people. We went with another couple and we ended up splitting everything four ways, which helped cut down costs and gave us a little bit of everything. The red velvet funnel cake was tasty, but personally in my opinion, nothing to write home about. I had a few small bites and left room in my tummy for other things… like my favorite of the day, the deep fried oreo!

 

Deep Fried oreo

Deep fried oreo sounds disgusting, right? I anticipated that I’d take one bite (like I did with the deep fried Twinkie) and go EWWWW. Sadly, I took a bite and thought “Oh. Ok. this is pretty goo- OMG YUM NOMMMMMM.” There was something about the temperature that caused the cream in the middle to slightly melt, and the batter was not overly sweet, so it became this delectable, soft, creamy cookie. YUM. Thank goodness we only got four in the order and each got one, because one was all I needed.

We sampled several other things that day – a bloomin’ onion, curly fries, a smoked turkey leg, lemonade, deep fried snickers (again – another thing I had a bite of and went, “eh, not worth the calories”). The great thing was, I left feeling pretty good – because we had been walking from 4 pm to midnight, I never got to an “ugh” point with too much food, and truly, the method of splitting everything four ways was brilliant, because I got to taste a little bit of everything but couldn’t truly go overboard. While calorically I know this was a fat bomb of a day, it was fun and didn’t feel as excessive as it could have when you consider all the walking around and small portions we had. However, it was nice to be back to a light dinner of salad the next day :)

View at night from the sky tram

In addition to eating fried stuff, we visited a bee hive, pet some cows, watched bad product demonstrations, saw some zebras, admired the London themed hall of Flowers, watched a No Doubt cover band (called Gwen in Doubt! Great name, right?), rode the sky tram (so scary to have your legs dangling way above the fair! eeek!) and I got to go down the giant slide. Giant slides = awesome. If you want a way to feel 10 years old again without a care in the world, stick your feet in a potato sack and scoot your ass down a giant slide. It’s magnificent. Flying over big humps with the wind in my hair was pretty darn rejuvenating. I highly recommend it!

Have you been to a county fair recently? Which one? When you go, do you splurge and try some of the crazy foods or do you play it safe by eating before you go? I got back on track on Sunday and today, and it’s time for me to start using MyFitnessPal again after a brief hiatus. Also, I took my last confession post to heart and have already gotten started with exercise again, so now my new plan of attack is to walk a little bit in the morning before I start work for the day. What’s new with you? :)

 

 

Weekend Wrap Up

**Before we get started, did ya notice my cool new header?! Isn’t it awesome?! Special thanks to Amy Adams Studios for the darling illustration and to Nathan G. for the help setting it up!

I had a really good weekend! On Saturday morning, Matt and our friend Jason ran together at the Balboa Lake Path… and I went along! Don’t get too excited, I wasn’t running (maybe one day soon), but I did bring my music and pedometer and walked a good mile and a half around the park. It was a beautiful day and I clocked in 5,000 steps!

Balboa Path

On Saturday evening, we had pizza at our friend Matt’s house (he was my Matt’s best man!) with our other dear friend Julie. Julie and I met in grad school, and we had an immediate bond due to our awkward sense of humor, sharp wits and fondness of all things delicious. (She’s a frequent commenter here on the blog – everybody say HI JULIE!) While the boys made pizza, Julie and I enjoyed our buzz and sang songs as she strummed the guitar. (FYI, WW Peeps: Widmer’s Raspberry Hard Cider is only 4 points for the whole big bottle! Boozy score!)

Julie rocks out

My officemate Sacha says “Manishewitz” when she’s frustrated, and I’ve taken to the same habit. Julie and I got in a conversation about Manishewitz the other day (she’s Jewish, I’m not, so I had no knowledge of the grapey sugar water), and I told her I wanted to try it. Julie gifted me with my very own bottle. The verdict? Tastes like grape flavored hummingbird nectar. I’m told it’s the most sneaky hangover ever, folks.

Me trying Manishewitz

The first pizza Matt F. made was a delicious pesto, potato, garlic and bacon pizza. It was perfectly delicious, with savory hints of basil and crunchy pork. I ate two pieces.

Pesto Potato Pizza

The second pizza was spicy italian sausage, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, chevre, garlic and mozzerella. I was too stuffed to have a piece of this one, and I’m not much of a goat cheese person, so I watched as the others enjoyed it.

Thumbs up for Pizza Pies

We then played Apples to Apples (husband Matt won! Go Matt!) and then stuffed our bellies once more with the amazing Popcorn CakeI found on Pinterest. I used a bag of Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn instead of buttered popcorn, and I also omitted the pretzel sticks. I used two bags of M&M’s and about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. This dessert was very rich, but super yummy because of the saltiness and sweetness. It came out to about 8 points plus per serving, but I’d say it was worth it. Nom. Definitely making this again for a party.

Popcorn Cake

It was a challenging weekend in terms of healthy eating, but I tracked everything and used some flex points. I also had a good workout in there, so that should help even things out a bit. If I can keep drinking lots of water and fit in a few more workouts this week, hopefully I’ll see the loss I was expecting last week, this week. Moderation when I’m around delicious things is always the HARDEST thing for me, but I think I did okay this weekend!

So – you heard about my weekend – how was YOUR weekend?