Sunday, April 17, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

In my next life, I think I would like to come back as a lizard. And I would lounge on a rock in the sun ALL day, every day.

Well, this weekend I did my best lizard impression because it was the first really nice weekend of the spring and all I wanted was to be outside enjoying the weather!

Saturday morning my husband and I met the SoCal chapter of our university alumni group in Redondo Beach for an Earth Day collaboration with Heal the Bay.

We picked up trash on the beach and helped to beautify our Southern California coastline with some fellow Ram alumni.

After our completing our service, the group headed over to Ortega 120, a local mexican restaurant with funky decor and delicious food! It was so great to relax on the patio with a cold drink in the hot sunshine.

As we headed back towards Pasadena, we drove by a Yogurtland.

It is always tough for me to pass up Yogurtland but since it was Saturday and, like, 85 degrees out it seemed like a sign from the gods. I mixed guava, taro, mango and coconut yogurt and topped it off with mochi, pineapple and strawberries. It was heavenly!

When we got home we layed out by the pool for awhile and soaked up the last couple hours of sunshine. Once it cooled down a bit we went to the Rose Bowl and took a nice stroll around the loop. That night we visited with an old friend and watched my newly purchased copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. (I am a big Harry Potter fan so I was totally dorky and stoked about it!)

On Sunday it was gorgeous again so we headed up to the Angeles National Forest for a hike. The place was packed but as we split off from the trailhead it became secluded quickly. We hiked along a river that fed into a series of waterfalls. It was so serene and lovely. (Unfortunately my pictures are trapped on a different camera so I'll post them later. For now, enjoy these pictures of Hermit Falls)

At the end of the hike there were some large cliffs that overlooked deep pools. There were some guys jumping off the cliffs and it was terrifying for me just to watch- let alone attempt myself! Besides, the water was FREEZING and I could barely handle wading through the river!

Back at the trailhead, there was live music playing. I never thought I'd see men yodeling in cowboy hats just 20 miles from downtown LA!

Sunday night we wanted to hang onto our last few hours of weekend freedom so we grilled hamburgers/veggie burgers out at our apartment pool/patio common area. We also snacked on some Popchips and had an avocado corn salad on the side.

It was a perfect light meal to complement the mild evening. We capped off the night by relaxing in the hot tub while I listened to my new Adele album.

Overall, it's beginning to feel a lot like summer and I couldn't be loving it more!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Derby Days

On Saturday my husband and I were up with the sun to run the Santa Anita Derby Days 5K. As we were driving to the race, a peacock crossed the street right in front of us! I decided that it had to be a symbol of good luck!

It was a chilly spring day in Southern California (okay, it was like 50 degrees but that is pretty cold here!) so I bundled up.

The race is an annual event and it was packed with runners and walkers of all kinds. After the gunshot, I just tried to navigate the crowd for the first several minutes until things thinned out a bit.

The race is the Derby Days race because it starts and ends at the Santa Anita Track. Mile One snaked up the street to the nearby Los Angeles Arboretum. Though it was a  little cool out, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day so I enjoyed Mile Two winding through the arboretum. Mile Three took us back to the race track and we were weaving in and out of tunnels and finally around the track onto the dirt!

I typically run at the Rose Bowl, which is a nice and mild loop. I was not used to all of the hills and the changes in terrain on this course and I definitely felt it in my legs the next day!

After the race, my husband and I headed to Marston's, a local restaurant that is famous for its brunch and there is always a big crowd out front!

I was starving by the time we were seated and I really dug in to my whole wheat toast with raspberry jam and veggie egg white omelette. They were delicious and really helped me pep up for the rest of the day!

After quick showers, we headed back to the race track. With our entries into the 5K we had free entry into the full day of horse racing. We had never been to a horse race before and were a little overwhelmed! We perused the "beginners" brochure and placed a few bets.

It was exciting to watch the races and I got all pumped up cheering for my horse!

....And I lost....Three times in a row!

Oh well, I guess I'll keep my day job! It was a great end to the day though!

Today's Question: Do you bet on any sports? If so, what secrets/tricks/superstitions do you use when deciding who to bet on?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Long Time Gone

Well hello again! I have been seriously MIA for the past couple of months and I wanted to take a minute to explain why and catch everyone up with what has been going on with me.

Right after my last post in mid-February, I went on a business trip to Las Vegas for a trade show. It was the first time I've had the opportunity to travel for a show and it was a great experience. I also made these super cute "Valentine's Confetti" popcorn bags for my coworkers. I got the idea and recipe from the crafts blog "This Blessed Nest". They were sweet and gooey and a big hit! :)

A couple of days after I got back I was approached about interviewing for a promotion at work! Holy excitement! I did my homework on the new category I would be responsible for, interviewed and chewed my nails for a couple of days while I waited to hear back! At the end of February, I got the WONDERFUL news that I got the promotion! I was so excited and so thankful for the amazing opportunity!

I had just a couple of days to wrap things up in my old position because my husband and I already had a trip planned to meet up with my in-laws in Cabo. The timing was perfect because I had time to celebrate and relax. The weather was perfect and it was so nice to have no plans whatsoever! We just spent time in the sun, visiting, laying out and eating delicious food! It was so nice to see my husband's parents and all hang out and catch up.

When I got back to the office in early March things were crazy busy. I've spent the last month getting situated in my new position. It has been a wonderful challenge and I feel like I have been running on hyperspeed for the past few weeks. While getting acclimated I've tried to keep my normal level of activity by doing things like trivia night, visiting the Getty museum, and hanging out at our friends's BBQ but frankly, I've been EXHAUSTED.

I don't know about you, but when I get stressed my exercise and healthy eating routine is something that slips a little bit. I have definitely put on a couple pounds over the past several weeks and I just feel like I need to hit the reset button and rework my exercise and food routine around my new work schedule/demands.

Today's Question: When you experience changes in your schedule/work load, what tricks do you use to maintain consistency in other areas of your life?