June 2012 archive
Last night, we went to the Summerland Concert at the Mountain Winery! What a great night. Mountain Winery is a terrific outdoor venue smack in the middle of a huge winery. Such a great place to see a show!
We were the first stop in the Summerland Tour– it’s a mix of five bands including Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, and Everclear. My favorite? Gin Blossoms! I barely knew who they were before the concert, but as the guy from Sugar Ray said when he announced them, “their songs are the ones that you constantly find yourself singing…..you just didn’t realize that they were Gin Blossoms!” (i.e., remember Hey Jealousy ? that’s them)
Summerland is off to Cincinnati next and touring through the summer, so check if they’re going to a venue near you, go check it out!
Yesterday evening after work, we drove about an hour to the concert. It was warm and sunny. They serve food inside the venue, but it’s pretty pricey, so instead we picnicked. They have special picnic tables just for that (most people do it). I packed a great chicken pesto pasta salad. Another one bowl meal, which is so easy to carry for trips like this.
(Recipe below) I also packed some carrots and cherries. Yum.
Since it’s at a winery, they serve their own wines. I got a pinot (of course).
We had tickets to the general seating area, but it wasn’t completely sold out, so the usher asked us if we wanted to move to better seats because they needed to fill them. Ummm, yes we do!
It was a really nice night and totally felt like summer. The only downfall was the long drive home and the late night (midnight on a weeknight is late for me….). But I’d go to Mountain Winery again in a second, it was way worth it!
And now, back to the pasta. It was so easy to make and really good. I have leftovers and am already planning to eat it for dinner tonight!
SUMMERLAND PESTO PASTA SALAD
– 1 lb bow-tie pasta
– 1 cup pesto
– 3/4 cup frozen corn
– 3/4 cup frozen peas
– 15 cherry tomatoes (i just put in a handful, but it was about 15)
– 1/4 cup chopped basil
– parmesan cheese
Super easy instructions include:
Saute peas and corn for just a few minutes (spray pan with olive oil).
Cook chicken. Cut into chunks.
Cook pasta and drain. Reserve about 1/4 cup pasta and put back into pasta.
Mix veggies, pasta, chicken, and pesto. Add basil and parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let sit until it reaches room temperature. Serve at room temp or put into fridge. Personally, I like it best when it’s been in the fridge overnight and the flavors have blended together.
And Happy Friday! I’m feeling so lucky and summery this week. I went to a baseball game, went swimming outside, went to the outdoor concert, and then tomorrow morning, we’re leaving for a weekend “vacation” to the beach (just one night, but we’ve deemed it our vacation because it will just be us and there’s no race/wedding/friends etc involved!). I heart summer!!
– What’s the last concert you saw?
– Any concerts coming up?
– Any great venues near you?
– Weekend plans?
Last weekend when I was watching Jared’s race, I started thinking about the first races I went to with him. I had no clue what to expect– watching is so different than actually racing and Ironman races are long all-day (14 hrs) events– and the first few times, I made rookie mistakes and did things like forgot to bring food (ummm starving all day!), didn’t bring anything warm to wear (it’s cold at 5am!) and had no idea how to calculate his times or when to expect him to pass by (so I would end up standing there for way too long, afraid I missed him…when I was really way too early).
Even though it’s always a work in progress, I’ve “learned” some Dos and Don’ts of Spectating. I still have at least 3 more races to watch in the next few months, so I’m sure I’ll keep learning, but here are some things I noticed last weekend when I was at the race.
The Dos and Don’ts of Spectating a Race:
1) Don’t Use the Porta Potties at the Start of the Race
Trust me. Athletes have serious things wrong with their stomachs before a race, so spare yourself. Besides, the line is usually a 100 people long (at least) and all the athletes are freaking out about being on time, so if you’re a spectator, try not to get in the midst of this. Luckily, Iremembered this from my race days so I knew not to drink much water in the morning
2) Do Bring a Nice Camera
I’m always so impressed with all the amazing lenses on so many spectators’ cameras. Get great shots! Your athlete will appreciate it.
3) But Don’t get in the way of the athletes just to get a good shot
So not fair to them.
4) Do bring a friend…or make friends with the other spectators.
So much more fun to hang out and watch together, plus you’ll meet some great people.
5) Don’t keep your feet bare in the mornings.
It’s cold out (at least, it is in Cali) before 10am! I always just wear flip flops and my feet are freezing. Sneakers for the mornings would be so much better.
My fail at the Silicon Valley race…brrr!
6) Do find out where the closest coffee shop or food spot is
There will def be downtime and I love reading my book and laying in the sun and all, but it’s nice to find somewhere to go. I’ve lucked out the last few times and there’s been a Whole Foods or Starbucks nearby. Last year, in a tiny town there wasn’t much to do, but I ended up cruising around Walgreens for an hour and then sat in McDonalds sipping a coffee and reading a magazine (it was too cold to sit outside and there was no where to watch along the race course).
7) Don’t rely on your phone for directions or a course map.
Trust me on this one: a) you might not have cell service. i got so lost last weekend trying to find the next location and most courses are in rural areas so service is anything but guaranteed. b) the phone screen is so small, you can barely see it. Not worth it!
8) Do bring a CowBell.
The athletes really appreciate it, especially on a course without many spectators. A bunch of athletes ran by and said “Thank You,” which I thought was super nice of them. Sometimes in a race, all you need on a course is a little something (like a cowbell!) to get you through a rough part.
9) Do take advantage of the freebies.
Coconut water and Clif bar samples? Sure, why not!
10) But Don’t drink the water meant for the athletes. Get your own!
11) And Don’t expect to leave anytime soon
After the race, there’s usually more hanging out so be patient!
And #12: Do Have Fun! It’s not all about them, it’s your day too so make the most of it, have an adventure, and enjoy it.
Okay, your turn:
– Add your own Dos and Don’ts!!
– Anyone make a rookie mistake at a race? (while racing or spectating?)
My WIAW post are my eats from Sunday. Weekends are always non-traditional eating– I guess that’s a good thing?
Thanks to Jenn for hosting, be sure to check more of the fun WIAW posts.
Sunday we went out to breakfast at this cute cafe, Jane. It just opened about a year ago and everytime I walk by (which is a few times a week), I always say, “I really want to eat here!!”
On Sunday, we finally did.
I ordered a green juice (orgainc kale, spinach, green apples, cucumber and lemon blended together with a drop of agave) , green tea, and a vegan-gluten-free muffin….which turned out to be banana chocolate flavor and was ah-mazing. It was also incredibly filling. It was gf and vegan, but def not low-calorie! Jared ordered an egg sandwich and said it was awesome.
best muffin ever
All the eats….so good
After breakfast, we headed over to the Ferry Building for our Sunday Fun Day ferry ride and tour of a vodka factory.
pretty view from the ferry
I was still full from my morning meal, but we planned to picnic with friends before the tour so I brought some snacks. Yogurt and an apple. Hits the spot every time.
The afternoon was spent at the factory. We toured. And then we tasted. I’m not a huge straight alcohol fan (read- not a fan at all) so I could barely get anything down, but it was still really fun to try them. My favorite was the mandarin vodka, but we tried pear brandy, chipolte vodka, black tea, and so many more. I would say, in all, I probably had half a shot, if that.
I did however, munch on popcorn.
And a handful of (unpictured) chocolate covered almonds (my favorite). They were the sea salted ones from Trader Joe’s….so good!
When we got home, it was almost 7pm (we stopped to do errands on the way home from the tour) and we were both starving. and exhausted. I made what was quickest and “soemwhat” healthy- a hardboiled egg, spinach, and a huge chunk of french bread with earth balance spread on top. I had a little more french bread than pictured too….
And then I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch by 8:30 pm. Thought maybe I was getting sick or something, but nope!, just tired I guess…
And that was my day…..
– What’s your favorite Sunday morning breakfast?
– Do you have a favorite breakfast spot or prefer to try new places all the time?
– What’s your easy go-to meal when you get home starving and don’t want to spend time prepping?
For Sunday Fun Day, we organized a “field trip” out of the City and across the Bay to the St. George Spirits/Hanger One Vodka factory. They give free tours and inexpensive tastings on the weekend.
We took the Ferry over, which was a blast and adventure on its own.
Then we walked about a mile from the Ferry through the old Naval base and to the factory, which is literally in an old hanger (Hence the name, Hanger One Vodka).
From the outside, it seriously looks like an abandoned building.
But the inside is really nice! Re-done and very modern. We started with an hour-long tour.
I learned a lot. Here are a few fun facts about vodka and the general alcohol making process:
Vodka doesn’t have to be made from potatoes, in fact, it’s usually not. Vodka can be made from ANYTHING, what makes it vodka is that it’s 95% distilled. St. George’s Spirits makes most of their vodka from wheat and grapes.
Scotch and Whiskey are the exact same thing. Scotch is just whiskey made in Scottland. So if someone tells you they like Scotch and not Whiskey…..that’s totally impossible because it’s the same!
You shouldn’t have to freeze vodka or even drink it cold. It’s only the poor quality vodka that tastes better when you do this because the coldness cuts down the bad flavors and makes it more tolerable. Good vodka can and should be drank room temperature.
Fermentation is conducted in clean, sanitized vessels that are open or sealed from the air and lasts for three to five days.
The government has to approve every single label that any alcohol company puts on their bottles….and they are super strict about it!
That’s vodka infused with a Buddha’s Hand fruit- looks crazy cool, huh?
Absinthe is NOT illegal in the US (i totally thought it was!) and it’s made from anise, fennel, and wormwood seeds. Interesting, right?
Hmmm….and that’s all I can remember. He told us about how all the machines work and stuff and it’s a long interesting process. The tour guide loved his job, obviously.
Then we all went into the tasting room. For $15, we tasted 10 of their different kinds. Quite a menu:
First rule they set was– no taking shots! You must sip it in at least 2 sips- ha, wonder if they had issues with that in the past.
Our group at the tasting table.
The way you are supposed to taste vodka is really unlike wine tasting. Under no circumstances should you swirl it in your cup! If you do, it lets the alcohols out and will cause more burning in your mouth. Instead, you are supposed to take a deep breath, take a small sip, and then breath out through your mouth.
So many to try. My favorite was the Mandarin. The most out-of-ordinary was a chipolte vodka- spicy hot and sooo different.
They were all good, but I couldn’t get most of them down….I’m not used to drinking straight alcohol and much more just a wine-sipper these days. I “shared” my tastes with the others.
After fun tasting, we caught the Ferry back to SF. Sunday Fun Day and now I’ll be more inclined to buy more expensive vodka.
– Have you ever done a non-wine tasting?
– What’s your drink of choice when you go out? Red wine usually for me, though occasionally vodka-soda
I love reading these sorts of post, so figured it was my turn! Here’s a pretty typical day in the life during the weekday…..
5:45am- Wake up 15 minutes before my alarm. For some reason, I can’t sleep past 5:45 anymore. Lay in bed with my iphone and read blogs and my horoscopes.
6am: Alarm goes off and get out of bed to do some sort of exercise. My favorite mornings are swim mornings (once or twice a week). Luckily, the pool is just downstairs of the building, so there’s no travel time involved.
7-7:15- Shower and get dressed at the gym. Confession: I usually don’t blow dry my hair lately. My work dress code is really casual, so luckily, what I wear doesn’t take a ton of thought. Fit breakfast in sometime quickly here or grab it to eat at work.
7:15-8:05- Drive to work. Blah. The commute is def my worst time of day. Recently, I switched my hours to 8-4, so it makes it much better than when I was 9-5…but still, I really dislike being in the car so much. I usually just listen to the news or the radio. The only good thing about the car is that the silence and having that “alone time” sometimes lets me clear my head.
8-12noon- Work, work, work. At my desk usually. I work for a nonprofit. I’m one of only 4 staffers, so it’s a small environment. I manage a program and do corporate relations, community engagement, and grant writing. I often throw volunteer engagement events at corporations (and have been doing that a lot lately!), so that takes me out of the office and away from my desk. I like my job for the most part and aside from knowing that it helps the community, I love that it’s a pretty flexible schedule and that every day is very different.
12noon- LUNCH. I usually sit at my desk and read a couple blogs. Sometimes I’ll walk outside. It’s not an official lunch break, I just usually can’t wait past noon.
12-4pm- Work some more. I usually take a 30 minute walk break sometime in the afternoon. There’s a big park near my office so I’ll go explore, especially if the weather’s nice.
4-5pm- Fight traffic once again. but I feel lucky, now that I leave earlier, my commute went from 1.5 hours to only an hour. Plus, being home by 5 means I have the whole night free!
5:30-6pm- Home! Usually take a nap, clean up, run an errand, etc.
6-7pm- Dinner. Whatever’s on hand.
7-8pm- Walk with a friend outside (or by myself). I live near the beach and there’s a pretty loop that’s about 4 miles, so we’ll usually walk and talk. It’s super relaxing.
8-10pm- Hang out on the couch with Jared, watch tv, catch up, etc. Sometimes we’ll go grab a drink somewhere (1/week) or go to an event or friend’s party (1/week)….these are the hours that really vary day by day. Lately, I can’t stay up much past 10:30 (if that!)…
Morning or night person?
Like routine or get bored of them?
Do you make your bed everyday?
It’s race weekend again! Jared did the Silicon Valley Tri (half ironman) today, so I tagged along to be his cheering squad.
I spent Friday morning making funny signs
Even though the race is only an hour and a half from SF, we went down Friday afternoon to register and stay overnight.
Good thing we did because we hit ridiculous traffic. It took almost 3 hours.
Registration was at a reservoir (swim start) that was in a really, really rural area. I just hung out while they set up their stuff.
And then (finally), we went to dinner. Italian, of course. We sat on the patio. Since I had no reason to carbo-load, I stuck with a salad.
And then to the hotel for a quick visit to the hot tub before passing out.
Race Day was pretty typical. We woke up ridiculously early with two cell alarms and a hotel wake up call
Drove to the swim start. I said goodbye to both of them
Sat in the warm car for 20 minutes or so (much better than just standing around the lake) and ate breakfast. Banana and yogurt
Before watching the swim. I caught up with Jared before he went into the water and then was in the sidelines when he got out. He did great! (photo not of him
I saw them out on the bike and then got into the car to drive to the second transition spot (and then race finish). It was a nightmare! A rural narrow road and they put the cars on the same road as the bikers! It was horrible and i had to constantly be going around them (dangerous), plus I didn’t get service out there and my gps didn’t work and I got super lost. Took me an hour instead of 30 minutes. Ugh!
When I finally parked, I was still all frazzled from the drive. Luckily, there was an ENORMOUS Whole Foods down the street and i still had 2 hours to kill, so I walked over there. There’s something so calming about walking around whole foods (sad but true!).
Confession- I broke my no coffee streak and ordered a soy cafe au lait. I felt a little guilty, but my intention was never to give it up completely, just to stop having to rely on it, and that’s still true for sure.
I must have looked exhausted or something because I ordered a small, paid for a small, but then she handed me a large! Ha. But oh well, I drank every drop.
Sipped my coffee while I wandered around the store.
I walked back, wandered around the booths/festival thing for a sec, and saw him start the run
The run was a loop, so I walked about a mile to a spot on the run course and found a bench where I could wait for him to pass/cheer/relax in the sun. There were a ton of pedestrians out for a dog walk on a nice day and they all stopped to talk to me about the race- kinda fun
Yes, I wore my “I heart my triathlete” shirt (compliments of Jared), took photos, and rang my cow bell (annoying sound, but I do think it’s motivating). I tried to read too, but only got through 5 or so pages.
I saw Jared pass twice (mile 5 and 8) and then walked back to the finish line to see him and our friends finish. Yay! He did great. PRed for half ironman! Proud of him. (scarf in photo helps prevent an asthma attack when he finishes- weird trick, but it works!)
We hung out in the sun for a little while and then drive home (luckily only took an hour). Now, I’m sitting on the couch trying to motivate to go downstairs and swim laps in the pool. Cheering is exhausting (no joke!) but I need some real exercise too…..
Exciting Saturday night plans include pay per view
–Anyone do a race this weekend?
–What do you have planned for this weekend’s workouts?
Okay, I’m late in the game here, but a couple weeks ago, I got tagged by the fab Luv What You Do for 7 things. I love playing these sorts of blog games, so without further ado:
Here are 7 (sorta random) things that I’m loving lately (or just wanted to share)…..
1) Miso. I am obsessed with raw miso. I bought it for a quinoa recipe that I saw on Daily Garnish and now I can’t get enough. I make salad dressing with it, pour it on every quinoa or rice dish I can find, and even put a little on bread the other day. Can’t believe I haven’t used it before. Do you use miso?
2) Green Tea. As I mentioned yesterday, I kicked my coffee habit! It’s been 2 weeks and I’m still amazed. I’ve written at least 6 posts about how I couldn’t get enough coffee, blah blah blah so I was expecting serious withdrawal. But instead, I actually feel so much better. I’m not as dehydrated and it’s done wonders for my blood sugar– I didn’t realize that I was experiencing big jumps and crashes. Anyways– Green Tea has been my lifesaver. Yes, it still has caffiene in it, but I feel so much better from sipping it all day than I used to. Whole Foods has this inexpensive organic brand and it’s my favorite!
3) I bought a fitness ball at least 6 months ago. My intention was to blow it up and bring it to work so instead of sitting in a chair all day, I was sitting on the ball. Welllll…….it’s still in the box. For some reason, I keep “forgetting” to blow it up. The air pump is at my parents’ house, so I have to do it while I’m there and then somehow fit the ball in my tiny car….and I always seem to be running late and not have time to do it. Major fail!!! Before the month is over, I’ll do this!
4) Homemade Cotton Candy. My mom bought a machine and we made it on Sunday. So fun!! And tastes really good. Then again, how could something that is strictly sugar not taste good?
Didn’t mean to cut my head off!
5) After eating cotton candy on Sunday, I had this amazing bread (garlic french loaf that was still warm!!!) and an orange zevia for dinner. Picture of good health right there- ha! Can’t lie though…it hit the spot!
5) Yoga. Still loving it. Wish they had more classes at my gym.
6) Sooo…remember how I signed Charlie up for Therapy Dog Volunteer training? Well, he had his “final exam” for the SPCA class yesterday. We went to an assisted living facility and were supposed to go visit the residents like we were volunteering…..well, there were 8 big dogs there and only 6 residents….it was crowded and overwhelming. Charlie was not into it. He hid under the table. He didn’t pass. We have to have a re-do. Poor guy!
7) There’s a new ice cream company making the rounds and giving out free ice cream. So good! Love the name and all the cool flavors- check it out
Kerfuffle Truffle for me, please!
Hope your week is going well!
Tell me 1 (or 7!) things about you or what you’re loving lately!
Hey! These are my eats from Monday. I’ve been in such a food rut lately, I feel like I’ve eaten some version of this day for a week and a half now. You’ll notice that I’m already over my greek yogurt obsession, that was much more short lived than I expected- ha. Anyways- all good things going on over, busy work week and getting ready for a busy weekend. Saturday’s race day again!
Thanks to Jenn, of course. Go visit her site for more fun WIAW posts.
So, on Monday….
Guess what– this is day 10 of no coffee. Shocking, right? I’ve been so addicted, that I’m amazed I’ve lasted this long. I’ve been sipping green tea so that helps, but I actually feel a lot better without coffee and it really seems like my blood sugar is more stable. Totally happy to have made it this long….gives me hope for it being more permanent.
For breakfast, I had fruit- cheeries, a tiny pear, and a small banana. It’s summer and all I want is fruit lately. And a big mug of green tea.
Can’t get enough cherries right now!
I was so busy at work that I wasn’t hungry again until almost 1. Lunch was a quinoa salad. I’ve been making big batches lately and keeping them for multiple lunches. This one had stirfryed asparagus, peas, mushrooms, chickpeas, and spinach with quinoa and a miso dressing. So filling and a great one-bowl-dish for work.
I snacked on a peach soy yogurt. Plus some carrots and celery that I forgot to photograph.
And then dinner was leftovers– my favorite on weeknights because they make dinner so easy! A green salad and leftover roast chicken with a piece of baguette.
But now that my fridge is empty of yogurts, quinoa salads, or leftover chicken….wondering what I’m goinig to eat the rest of the week!
Hope your day goes well!
– Favorite summer fruit? Cherries all the way for me.
– Leftover- boring or lifesavers?
Morning! Another busy workday over here. I’ve talked a little before about Healthy Intentions and Healthy Mini Goals to get me through each day on top and since I’m tired and stressed already today, figured I needed to be sure to make some today. Accordingly, here are my Tuesday Mini Goals:
1) Don’t eat the gooey, yummy chocolate cake that someone brought into work! I’m going to a birthday party tonight where they will have much more amazing cupcakes, so saving my dessert calories for those. Just sometimes….when it’s been a long workday and chocolate cake is staring back at you….it’s tough to resist, hence the mini goal.
2) Take a walk during lunch. Get some fresh air! I didn’t do this yesterday and totally regret it. By the time I left work, I realized I barely left my desk, stretched, or enjoyed the nice weather!
See, there’s even a nice park near my office. No excuses not to take advantage of it!
3) Go grocery shopping and stock up on more veggies. If I don’t, my healthy fridge choices will get dismal…..
Yum, apricots are back in season– I love them!
Okay, your turn!
—What’s a healthy mini goal of yours today?
First off, belated blog Happy Father’s Day to the best dad ever (also the only member of my family who actually reads my blog regularly! Ha)
Baby photo with my grandpa.
My dad is amazing- genuine, unconditionally supportive, kind, and hard working. He’s taught me that if you work hard, all your dreams can come true.
We celebrated yesterday with an extended family brunch and then by playing badminton and making cotton candy back at the house. All I can say is that we all need to brush up on our badminton skills- ha!
So apparently, bowling is the new big thing in SF because within weeks of each other, two new hip bowling alleys/bars opened up. And randomly, I went to both last week.
Friday, my sis and I double dated at Mission Bowling Club. It was fun, but excuse the dark photos…taken with my iPhone.
The bar/restaurant area- check out the lights!
Fried chicken on a stick- cant go wrong with that!
S’mores brownie- gooey amazingness!
And of course, bowling
Group shot, no flash so it didn’t come out really
Mission Bowling night success
And somehow, I bowled a 113! Anytime I break 100, I’m stoked.
–Do you ever go bowling?
– Fun alleys near you? A lucky strike?
–Do anything different this weekend?