Archive | January, 2011

Healthy Living

27 Jan

One of my new years resolutions is to live healthier, specifically to lose 15 pounds by the time I leave for London. While blog stalking today, I ran across this awesome, informational and inspirational blog: Word of Wisdom Living. Although I usually avoid overtly such overtly LDS blogs (I often find them too preachy and/or cheesy) this one seems great.

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#22-26

26 Jan

22. A sister that thinks about me while she’s shopping. Molly bought me a pair of $10 jeans she found at the mall, just because she knew I would love them

23. $400 Delta Airline credit for getting bumped off my flight to Tokyo that I can now use to fly to NYC

24. Finishing the FAFSA

25. Having a car door that I can actually use

26. Thomas everything Bagel Thins. So delicious, yet so low in calories.

Locked in

21 Jan

I’ve been having this problem where the driver-side door of my car won’t unlock and I’m stuck inside. It’s not really that fun. I’ve been having to climb in and out of my passenger door all day. I won’t lie, I feel like a total idiot every time. Definitely not a fan.

I’m taking it in next week, but they don’t know how they’re going to look at it when the door won’t open.

#21

21 Jan

Today I am thankful for the game Time’s Up and to Ange and Riley for introducing me to it.

My year of thanks

20 Jan

I recently returned from a road trip with my dear friend Pam. On the trip, we talked a lot about the value of taking time off. Time off from life I guess. Ironically, it’s been during this “time off of life” that I’ve really lived the most. Ok, that sounded really really cheesy. I usually try to refrain from such cliched writing. Anyway, I feel like I’ve benefited hugely from taking a break from school and real jobs and basically most of my sense of responsibility.

To honor this huge gift of time that I’ve given myself, I’d like to express my appreciation for the finer things in my life. And the less fine things. And the totally basic and generally forgettable things that make my life so great.

I wanted to write one for every day of the year, but as it’s the 20th already I have some catching up to do.

  1. Google. I honestly do not know how people lived before Google. I guess they just had a lot of unanswered questions.
  2. yelp.com. The road trip truly converted me to the awesomeness that is yelp.com. I ate amazing food the entire trip thanks to this handy little website.
  3. Restaurant.com. Again, my stomach thanks you for all the delicious food.
  4. Pam (my friend, not the non-stick cooking spray). I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive about spending two whole weeks alone with someone I hadn’t seen in months, but the trip was amazing. Pam has become a great friend, and one that I hope to stay in touch with. I only wish we lived closer so we could cook dinner together, attend book clubs, hang out and generally bask in each others’ company.
  5. Aveeno Nourish and Soothe shampoo. When I got back from Thailand the desert air wreaked havoc on my skin. Many a night I spent scratching my dry scalp as I laid in bed trying to fall asleep. I am now itch-free because of this product.
  6. Lemon. Is there any greater fruit than the lemon? I think not.
  7. Thailand–both the country generally as well as all the people I met and worked with there. My time there was truly the experience of a lifetime. While I was there I met lifelong friends, was warmly welcomed into a rich and welcoming culture and learned more about myself than in the rest of my life combined.
  8. Netflix movie streaming
  9. Lists. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing things off a list.
  10. Free factory tours. Combines my love of all things free, seeing how stuff is made, and free samples. Thanks Jelly Belly, Anheuser-Busch and Woodbridge Winery!
  11. Good bread and dipping oil. My favorite way to start a meal or curb the late-night munchies.
  12. Popcorn. In any and all forms. My greatest vice.
  13. Country Strong. What a great movie! I was really impressed with the acting and the music. As much as I usually disdain country music, I was won over by the soundtrack. Bravo.
  14. Cookbooks with photos. What use is one without the other really?
  15. Sticky notes. I would be lost without them.
  16. Wireless internet. There was a hotel on my trip that had free internet IF you had an ethernet cable with you to plug into the wall. What?! Who really carries around an internet cable with them? No one, that’s who. Lame.
  17. Visiting old friends. I got to see two other good friends from Thailand on my road trip, Stacy and Sean. I loved being able to visit them where they live. It was an entirely different context than the last time we spent time together. It’s like the difference between seeing animals in a zoo and in the wild. So fun. Love them both!
  18. Moo Creamery in Bakersfield, CA. Refer to my last post to read about the deliciousness.
  19. Cardigans. My favorite clothing item.
  20. Cuddling with Molly. Admittedly, I am aware of how weird it is, but I’m always glad that she let’s me climb into bed with her.

It’s like there’s a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited!

14 Jan

Ok, so I know I’m on vacation and I’m supposed to be giving you updates on all my activities, but I had the most wonderful eating experience, I decided that it deserves it’s very own post.

Pam and I stopped in Bakersfield for the night on our way from Sacramento to Vegas. After a lengthy (and now familiar) yelp.com search, we decided on Moo Creamery for dinner. It was there that I discovered the hamburger that all other burgers will forever be measured against. I’m pretty sure my life will never be the same. I already posted a yelp review, so I’ll just cut and paste that.

“Ok, I really give this place a 4.5, but yelp won’t let you do half stars…

As far as the food goes, it’s about an 86.7 on a scale of 1-5. In a word: MOUTHGASMIC. I had the Mexican Border Burger on their specials menu and it was honestly the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. Meat = delicious. Bun = delicious. Chipotle mayo, pepper relish and jicama slaw = delicious x 3. I took one bite and was in instant nirvana. The burger itself was cooked medium rare (which is so rare–no pun intended) and was really juicy without making the amazing brioche bun soggy at all (a huge pet peeve of mine). The onion rings I got with it were equally delicious. Again, the best rings I’ve ever had. Battered, not breaded. SUPER crispy. Cooked to a dark, golden brown so that you get that almost toasty flavor on the outside. The burger is ala carte, so you do have to pay for the them, but they charge the same for rings as for regular fries which was a bonus. For dessert I had the caramel apple pie sundae, and I substituted the vanilla ice cream for their apple pie flavor. I hate it be repetitive, but it too was amazing. A bit of heaven in every bite. We also tried the cream cheese jalapeno and bacon ice creams. They didn’t disappoint. I really can’t say enough good things about the food. I want to cry a little that I live 600 miles away.

Why the 4.5 rating you ask? There was one server who was just mean every time we encountered her. It was a busy Friday night, but it’s never appropriate to get a dirty look from a waitress when you ask for a glass of water. As much as it pains me, I can’t give a 5 when my customer service experience was lukewarm at best.

Despite the waitress, I will DEFINITELY be back if I’m ever around Bakersfield. I’m actually tempted to make the 9 hour drive just to get my hands on another burger. Thanks yelp for cluing me in to this amazing spot. DELICIOUS.”

I forgot to mention in my review that the onion rings were salted and peppered. Oh how I love pepper. Just another thing I love to add to the long list. I’ll post more about the trip later. For now I need to digest, possibly for the next several hours. Or days…

California Girls

9 Jan

Yes, that title was a shout out to Katy Perry. Love her.

So, the road trip is amazing. Super fun. Lots of driving, but lots of good times. For those of you who don’t know, I’m on a road trip in California with my friend Pam. We met in Thailand and planned the trip back in August. I’m so glad it actually happened. Here’s a run-down of what we’ve been up to.

Tuesday: I woke super early to begin the drive down to Las Vegas, where Pam was arriving from New York. I made great time, less than six hours, and by 1:00 pm we were on the road to San Diego. After a LONG day of driving we arrived in SD, tired but all in one piece. We crashed in the hot tub of our hotel.

Wednesday: In the morning we went to Seaport Village to walk around and shop. I bought a pair of super cute shoes that I’ve been eye-ing since I saw them on Christmas Eve. It was a beautiful day to walk around and the shops are right on the water. We ate some delicious Greek food for lunch.

Afterwards, we met up with another friend from Thailand who took us hiking at Iron Mountain. We hiked a total of 6 miles up to the summit and back. It kicked my butt a little but, but the view was incredible. Amazingly, I only fell once during the whole hike. Very impressive for uncoordinated little me.

Rock on!

Stacy, me, Pam

Chilling at the summit

Thursday: Pam and I went to the San Diego Zoo. I had never been to the zoo before, so I was really excited. Ironically, even though I don’t like animals, I love to watch them in captivity. The zoo was great, but I was really surprised that they didn’t have any penguins. It also made me realize how the the Hogle Zoo is. We don’t have nearly the funding and the resources of the SDZ, but I really think some of our exhibits are better.

Is is still called sex if it's animals? No, it's called "mating"

These guys looked like midgit giraffes. They were so short!

I actually hate polar bears for the same reason I dislike all white animals. They are never really white and always look dirty.

After the hotel we hung out at the hotel for a bit and then spent the night in Old Town. We had some amazing Mexican food at Cafe Coyote, sampled an array of tasty olive oils and enjoyed our last night in San Diego.

Super cute Temecula Olive Oil Co. with delicious free samples

Friday: We drove to Los Angeles to see a taping of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. We got there pretty early, so we stopped and got Peruvian food for lunch. It was my first experience with the cuisine de la Peru, and I was quite impressed. Leno’s show was particularly good. The guests included Jim Parsons, from one of my favorite TV shows The Big BangTheory and Haley Steinfeld from True Grit.

Jay really was a good host. He came out and chatted with the crowd and took pictures with everyone. Jim was as funny in real life as he is on the show, and Haley is just an amazing little actress. It was really fun to see how the show taping works and to be close to celebrities. After the show we drove to our hotel, which is out by the airport in Inglewood. The neighborhood is a little ghetto, but the hotel is actually really pretty nice and much cheaper than we’d get right in the city.

Saturday: Today we spend the morning in Hollywood. We walked down Hollywood Blvd and saw all the major sites: the Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, Walk of Fame, Hollywood sign.

Chinese Theater

Gateway to Hollywood

Walk of Fame

Tallest man in history according to Ripley's

Pam trying on some 8 inch heels at one of the many stripper costume shops on Hollywood Blvd.

We ate a quick lunch in the car as we drove around trying to find our way up into the hills to look at all the amazing houses. After realized that you can’t, in fact, access rich people houses without the passcodes to many automatic gates, we drove to Venice to check out all the shops on Abbott Kinney St. This street didn’t disappoint. After all the chains stores and sleaze of downtown LA, the independent spirit of these little shops were really refreshing. I found plenty of totally unnecessary, expensive, and 100% awesome items that I wished I had the money to buy. I found a few things though, and we had some awesome food (but terrible service) at Gjelina.

Looking forward to much more fun in the California sun. More to come later. Right now I’m too tired to type anymore.