Tag Archives: real life

My anniversary!

25 Feb

I vanished again. Sorry. The dynamic of the days has shifted, and I’m still trying to figure out how to refocus. I’m happy at my new job, and I’m happy having more time in the evenings to spend with Mr. X, so blogging has fallen to the wayside a bit. My apologies!

I have real posts the rest of the week, but today is my first wedding anniversary, so I couldn’t help but be a little indulgent. I didn’t post much about the wedding at the time because of the hiatus I took, so I wanted to post a few pictures today. I hope you don’t mind!

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Saturday. Sunday.

25 Sep

Saturday started with a burger from Umami:

I got the only veggie option, the Earth Burger (“mushroom and edamame patty, white soy aioli, truffle ricotta, cipollini onions, lettuce, slow-roasted tomato”). Frankly, I was unimpressed. It was decent, but I was expecting so much more because of the hype. Mr. X said his burger was really good, though, so maybe it was just the vegetarian option that was lackluster.

Anyway, we were then off to the beach:

Unlike the previous Saturday, it was cool and cloudy, so the crowds were much thinner. It was perfect weather for lying down and reading, but we still got plenty of swimming in, too.

Saturday night was the gourmet meal I posted about yesterday. Sunday morning was my CSA pick-up, which you saw the day before that. The market is right by Trader Joe’s, so I park in their garage, do my pick-up, and then get the rest of the groceries (followed by Ralph’s, when needed). My favorite thing about the underground parking is this genius contraption:

Yeah, a special escalator just for your cart. It’s freakin’ awesome.

I came home and made brunch, my other favorite weekly tradition. For Mr. X, it was an omelet stuffed with roasted zucchini, cremini mushrooms, smoked Gouda, and fresh basil:

Mine was the same ingredients, but I had a scramble instead:

We both had home fries on the side. To make them, you just saute onions. Add garlic and peppers. Saute some more. Add chopped potatoes. Saute even more. Season with salt and pepper. Easy.

The rest of the day was spent in a haze of cleaning (me) and watching football (X). Dinner took about 12 seconds to prepare. His:

Two slices of homemade sourdough bread with Dijon, jalapeno-jack cheese, and avocado, with Snapea Crisps on the side. Hers:

Almost the same, except I had barbecued tofu instead of cheese.

And then I passed out. The end.

Random weekend shots

18 Sep

A lot of other bloggers do photo posts of their weekends, which is something I’ve never really gotten into. For one, I don’t take nearly as many pictures as they do, and — frankly — I don’t do a whole lot. That whole being broke-ish thing keeps us spending as little as possible most of the time. I do have a few random shots from the last few days that I wanted to share, though.

I attended a forum on Thursday that included a free lunch (yay!). They were boxed meals from Quiznos, including a sandwich, an apple, and a bag of chips. Apparently someone managed to design, get approval for, and print thousands of lunch boxes with this glaring typo:

Or maybe I’m being too harsh. Perhaps Quiznos is very philosophical about their food. “Who IS lunch?” It almost seems pro-vegetarian. Almost.

On Friday, I was driving home from Girls on the Run recruitment and saw this not-at-all-ominous cloud of smoke in the distance:

Fun California fact: Shit catches on fire here and stays on fire. This particular blaze was about 10 miles from my apartment, just east of the 405 near the Getty. Yikes.

On Saturday, we decided to beat the heat — 100° outside with no breeze = at least 10 billion° F inside my apartment — by heading to Venice Beach. It was significantly more bearable out there in the direct sun and surf than at home, so this was a big win. Mr. X didn’t want to be in my photo, so here was our view for the burning-our-pasty-skin portion of the afternoon:

The crowds were the perfect size. They were never overwhelming, and I liked being around a decent number of people. We spent a lot of time in the water, which was lots of fun. To the Pacific we sacrificed two pairs of sunglasses, a headband, a hair tie, and three bobby pins. It was worth it, though, even when we got knocked down by waves so hard that we scraped our backs on the rough bottom.

On Sunday, I picked up our CSA share and bought a dozen eggs from the market while I was there. At home, I made us a nice little brunch of Sourdough Pancakes and fried eggs:

I should have photographed X’s plate, since I gave him the prettier (and larger) serving, but by the time I plated mine, he had inhaled his. I used this recipe for the pancakes, but made the following tweaks:

  • Halved the recipe to serve two
  • Used a whole egg, so I reduced the oil by half again (so 1 egg and 1 tablespoon olive oil)
  • Cooked everything in my non-stick pan sprayed with a little oil. The recipe made seven pancakes that were about 1/4 cup of batter each.

For the spices, I dumped in a hefty amount of cinnamon (maybe 1/4 to a 1/2 teaspoon), 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder, and a dash of cayenne to make a Mayan chocolate-inspired dish. We topped them with some Kerrygold butter I found lurking in the fridge.

As you can see, my plate looks mangled. I took the first pan of the ‘cakes, which I did a poor job of flipping. I noted it took about a  minute and a half for the first side to cook and then another minute on the other, so the subsequent four pancakes looked much prettier. The eggs also look crazy because they were room temperature, so the whites spread A LOT in the hot pan. They still tasted great!

That’s a glimpse into my weekend. The beach — and seeing our great friends from Bakersfield, who I will mention again tomorrow — was definitely the highlight, especially since the heat was RELENTLESS until Sunday evening. I know I have talked a lot of crap on Angelenos who can’t handle the extreme temperatures, but 100° feels a lot different, even if it’s not humid, in an apartment without air-conditioning than it does in a home with central heat and air. I’m grateful to see highs in the 80s this week!

Solo Saturday

1 Sep

Happy Saturday, everyone! And even more importantly — for my fellow Americans — happy long weekend! I didn’t realize until Wednesday that this Monday would be Labor Day. I am so thankful for an extra day off, even if I will be spending much of the weekend flying solo. My sexy Latin man has been filming all week, and he doesn’t get today or tomorrow off, so Monday will be our only couple time. Single tear.

Before packing him off for the set today, however, I threw together a super simple lunch. His:

Plus an unpictured peach. Mine:

For both, I heated the tortillas in the pan, sauteed the zucchini in spray olive oil with salt and pepper, and then sauteed the portobello separately. For my taco, I spread a tortilla with Dijon and topped with zucchini, mushroom, pepper sauce, and nooch. For his three, I added pre-made barbecue sauce to the pan, let it reduce for a couple of minutes, and then placed it inside the tortillas. He decided to layer the zucchini in his tacos, too. It was quick and tasty.

My plate looks scant for one basic reason:

I ate these “overnight” (or, rather, soaked-for-two-hours) oats basically as soon as he left. They are my usual combination of rolled oats, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, peanut butter, and sliced banana. Delicious and easy.

On the agenda for the rest of the day is food prep (I’m trying out a new recipe tonight — I’ll report back if it’s good), some housework, reading, giving myself a pedicure, and crafting in front of a Netflix marathon — all while fighting the overwhelming desire to take a nap. As you can see, it won’t be a terribly exciting day over here, but I’m trying to make the best of a solo Saturday.

What’s on your agenda today?

I’m off to do some very exciting laundry!

Lunch and unloading

17 Aug

I’m feeling really down — probably hormonal, you’re welcome — today, so I am struggling to muster the enthusiasm for a real post. Instead I’ll show you what end-of-the-week meals start to look like when you refuse to buy more groceries but only have random crap left in the fridge.

Yesterday’s lunch:

Yeah, basically it’s a couple of different vehicles for ketchup. At the top is roasted cauliflower. It started out as about a cup’s worth but shriveled down to what you see. The patties are the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. I made four total, not the double batch in the linked recipe. I’m really glad I had the foresight to cook the entire package of garbanzo beans this week instead of just the quantity I needed for that night. My lunch was boosted by a delightful coworker who brought strawberries to work, plus tortilla chips…

…which you now see well represented in today’s lunch. I had the remaining patty (one never left the apartment Wednesday night) with more ketchup, plus chips and some Wholly Guacamole.

As a bonus, here’s what I ate for breakfast in lieu of my planned smoothie (RIP blender) the last two days:

Vegan overnight oats. Yes, they’re in a jar. That is because I transported them to work. They are also really unphotogenic but actually pretty tasty. The mix contains oats, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, peanut butter, and banana. I add the last two ingredients in the morning, not during the soaking. Incidentally, this is what a banana that looked normal-ish before you packed it looks like after a ride using the Los Angeles public transportation system:

Gross.

On the realsies, I’m currently fighting with myself to admit I’m depressed. ‘Cause I’m totally not. It’s normal to cry almost every day and have no desire to see the sun and get my feelings hurt when someone somewhere in the world has a conversation and does not go out of their way to include me in it, especially when I make it clear that I’m antisocial and don’t like to be bothered. Right? Some days are bigger struggles than others. Some are downright horrid, but plenty are happy and carefree. I’m still struggling to find the good, think of things that would cheer me up, but too often it leads to resentment. While I welcome suggestions, so many of them are not realistic. “Get a massage!” “Treat yourself to a pedicure!” “Take a weekend away!” “Go out for some retail therapy!” I would so love to do any or all of these things, but they all cost money, and I don’t have any extra. This week I finally forced myself to start budgeting again for real for real, and the spreadsheet is depressing enough on its own. Compound it with how lonely and unmotivated I am, and it’s making me feel worse, though it’s a necessary evil. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can alleviate some of the stress.

Sorry for unloading, but I did promise to keep it real-er around here. Now you know why I keep it to myself most of the time.

Things to do before I turn 30

15 Jun

My 30th birthday is not right around the corner yet, but it is approaching at a fast enough rate that I think about it a lot. For the record, I will enter that third decade of life on September 10, 2014. So close, yet so far.

Anyway, I’m a goal-oriented person who thrives on motivation (and a little competition with myself). I decided to make a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 to keep life interesting and maybe not dwell on the negative aspects of aging so much. The items I chose are things that actually matter to me, so there is no filler or anything random. I made that mistake however-long-ago when I created a 101 Things in 1001 Days list that was, well, stupid. Pointless goals are pointless, no?

This list is still a work in progress, so I may still add and subtract, but it’s a good starting place. If you have a similar list, I’d love to see it!

1. Have a baby. Pretty self-explanatory.

2. Learn to change the oil in my car. I am a stereotype of the gal who has no idea how to do anything on her car except fuel up, call AAA, or pay Jiffy Lube for an oil change. I’d at least like to be able to do the latter on my own.

3. Run a 10K. With two 5Ks under my belt (and a third on the radar), I know my body is ready for more. Let the training begin!

4. Either buy a house or do extensive research on the how/when/where of the process. I’m not sure it would even be possible to afford a house out here in the next two-ish years, but I intend to find out!

5. Write a TV pilot. Mr. X and I have one in mind that just needs to be committed to paper.

6. Make friends with my sewing machine. It intimidates me, and I plan to conquer it.

7. Find a regular volunteer position. Even though I work for a nonprofit, I miss being actively involved in my community. Plus, it would be a great way to make friends.

8. Audition for something — anything! I miss acting a ton, too. I’ve henceforth been too busy/intimidated to audition for plays here in LA, but that must change.

9. Grow my own herbs. I have been wanting to do this all year, but my apartment isn’t well set-up for it, so it will require some creativity. No more excuses, though.

10. Apply for graduate school. I have picked a program and a school. I need to get some prerequisites done and take the GRE. Gulp.

11. Take a surfing lesson. I don’t need to become a surfer, but I would love to take a lesson. I live in LA, for goodness’ sake!

12. Upgrade my wardrobe. Aside from hating everything I own lately, I’m also painfully aware that my wardrobe is that of a college student, with a few professional pieces thrown in here and there. By 30, I want to look like a real adult.

13. Take a cake-decorating class. I love to bake, but my stuff never looks pretty. I’d love to change that.

14. Hike up to the Hollywood sign. What a quintessential experience in my new homeland. Plus, I don’t think I’d have to twist too hard to get Mr. X to come with me.

15. Try out three churches in LA. I miss my All Souls spiritual home and would love to have something similar here. I doubt I will feel the same connection to a new place, but I’ll never know until I try.

16. Go camping. I always say I hate it, but truthfully, I’ve done it one time when I was 12, and it was at Keystone Lake (not exactly my favorite place in the world). I think it’s time to try again.

17. Make a dent in my debt. I know I can’t get it all paid off in the next two years and two months, but I’d like to get on a good path.

18. Make a wedding time capsule. I meant to do this right after the wedding, but I still haven’t. I figure as long as it’s complete within the first year of marriage, it totally counts.

19. Support my husband’s dream. We have a five-year plan that is contingent upon his level of success in the industry. I want to do everything I can to enable his ability to conquer this town, because he certainly has the chops.

20. Teach someone (other than my husband) to do something I love. It most certainly does not have to be for money. One of my fondest memories is of being a winter camp counselor at the same place I had led a summer group just a few months earlier. One of the campers asked if I remembered her, and I said, “of course!” She showed me the braid in her hair and said that she learned to do it from me. I have such a strong memory of teaching that 6-year-old how to braid, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that it would be something she’d remember even four months later. It was such a small triumph, but it has stayed with me over the past eight years.

21. Submit an article for publication. I don’t care if it gets rejected. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve even picked a pen name, since my employer is apparently not too terribly keen on employees doing freelance work.

22. Complete a project for Craft Hope. I always want to dive into every project, and I’ve yet to do a single one.

23. Join a wine club. We love wine and spent our honeymoon up in Sonoma. It would be so much fun to be wine-club members at one of the places we loved the most from up there.

24. Do something that scares me — because it scares me. This one is vague but important. The day we stop doing things that cause trepidation is the day we stagnate.

25. See a waterfall. Apparently there are tons in California!

26. Become more assertive at work. I find that I’m actually becoming more introverted as I age, and while that’s not an inherent problem, it’s led to me not being willing to speak up for myself sometimes when I really should, especially when the issue is job-related.

27. Get into a workout routine. I’m the queen of getting really into something for about a month and then abandoning it totally, only to gain back every ounce I lost. Keeping in good shape only gets harder with age, so my 20s are the time to establish a routine.

28. Set up a cleaning schedule — and stick to it. I hate, hate cleaning, and so does my husband. It’s a bad combination. However, while being sloppy is somewhat excusable as a youngin’, it’s far from OK in adulthood. It’s time to grow up.

29. Let go. I have a long memory and a tendency to hold grudges. It’s not good for my health.

30. Carve out time for my passions. Between being broke and tired, I have lost sight of the importance of doing the things I love. I’m ready to turn things around.

So that’s my list for now. I’m not exactly sure how I will start tackling things, but I’m ready. Please share anything that was/is/would be on your list!

Back?

27 May

So that was an unplanned hiatus, and for that, I apologize. However, the break did give me a chance to reflect — namely on why I took it totally out of the blue. The answer was less than happy.

I realized that, though my relationship with food has been much better in the last three years, it continues to be obsessive. I thought channeling my food thoughts into this blog would help, would give me a positive outlet for a formerly destructive relationship. I still think it can, but the truth is that, of late, it hasn’t. I can’t seem to walk a good path with what I consume: it’s been a cycle of over-strictness followed by eating junk and then feeling guilty. This cycle is bad for anyone, but especially for those of us with histories of disordered eating.

All that said, don’t be worried for me. I am a far cry from my college days. I promise that I know myself well enough now to seek help if things got that way. I just haven’t been respecting myself recently, mostly due to stress. I am currently working to rectify the situation.

So, while I strive to find the balance, I will post here intermittently. I thank all of you who still pop by, and I look forward to getting things in order.

In the meantime, here’s a peek at the very start of my Sunday:

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Tea and cherries. A real breakfast will follow as soon as I get to the farmer’s market!