Tag Archives: bloggers

Blog Pimp

I wonder how many weird hits that post title will bring.

Anyway! I don’t have a guest post for you this week, but that kind of works out because I want to direct you guys to a few other blogs today.

You see, this summer, no fewer than FOUR of my friends started blogs. And, since they’re all kind of awesome (both the blogs and the people), I want to send you wonderful people to check all of them out.

Blog #1: Cook to Live to Eat by my friend Sarah.

Sarah is a friend from home. I met her in high school, when we were both awkward and figuring ourselves out (okay, fine, only I was awkward). I think our friendship history is kind of cool because, while we weren’t particularly close in high school and lost touch somewhat in college, we have become really good friends after reconnecting in the past few years and she is now one of my best friends “from high school.”

She is also one of the coolest friends I have. She is always doing interesting things, taking chances, and finding ways to improve her life. The blog was actually born from one of these chance-taking endeavors. She quit her cool PR gig and decided to follow her passion for cooking by going to culinary school in NYC. She started her blog so she could write about her adventures while working her way through culinary school! Sound like anyone else you know? Just watch. Sarah will be a huge blogger in no time.

Oh, and she also makes interesting meals that would entirely intimidate me. Like this one.

Amazing, right?

Blog #2: Chris Ables… by my friend… well, Chris Ables.

Totally different kind of blog. You see, Chris isn’t all that interested in food (I mean, other than eating it, I suppose). Instead, this is an art blog. Chris is an unbelievably talented artist and he makes commissioned art.

He is also a huge fellow Harry Potter nerd fan and makes amazing Harry Potter art (amongst a thousand other things). These three are based on his ideas of what Ron, Harry and Hermione look like from the book descriptions, not the actors who portrayed them.

I only posted small images here — check out his blog and etsy store to see them in better detail!

Time for another food blog? Great!

Blog #3: Two Cooks in the Kitchen by my friend Amanda and her boyfriend Zach.

I’ve actually never met Zach (one of those sad consequences of living across the country from where I grew up and went to school), but Amanda is one of my close friends from college and she is one of the kindest, funniest people I know.

I find this blog really interesting because it encompasses something that I bet happens in a fair amount of couples these days — what happens if one half of a couple is a vegetarian and the other half is a meat-lover? I’ve actually heard friends choosing not to date someone because they were a vegetarian or a meat-eater and the other person wasn’t and they were afraid it’d be too difficult. Well, Amanda and Zach have made it work! They still cook together and figure out how to make meals that please both of their taste buds and both of their nutrition needs. Like this Kimchi/Steak Fried Rice:

I think this is a great and unique concept and I’m hoping to “get to know” Zach through the blog since it’s so hard for me to meet him in person!

And finally….

Blog #4: My Freaking. Awesome. Life by my friend Mac.

Mac and I met in grad school, when I was a grad student and he was an undergrad. We didn’t work together all that much or know each other all that well — in fact, we only worked on one film together! — but I always enjoyed running into him because he was constantly making me laugh.

Anyway, we definitely fell out of touch in the past few years, but Mac found my blog and then I found his blog and the rest is history. His blog is hilarious — I think I’d actually qualify it as a humor blog — and it breaks up my day whenever he posts. Definitely check it out if you need a little snark in your day.

Oh, and Mac will actually be guest posting here within the next few weeks, so you get to look forward to that!

What do you guys think? Any new additions to your Google Reader? 🙂

5 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Sunset Dinner at The Castaway

As I mentioned in my weekend post, I went to a sunset dinner on Sunday. Amanda and Andy came into LA so we could go to dinner at a restaurant that Mark and I have wanted to try for a while — The Castaway in the hills of Burbank.

It was arguably the most romantic date I’ve ever been on. Too bad Mark’s like my brother, huh?

The vibe of the restaurant is like a tropical vacation restaurant. The second you arrive, you feel like you’re at a resort. I liked that a lot! What a wonderful way to escape for a few hours. You feel very far away from LA, despite that the whole draw of the place is that you’re looking over it. 🙂

It’s a sort of pricey restaurant for people like us (by which I mean young people on a budget), but they have a great prix-fixe menu for the Sunset Dinner. It comes with soup or salad, an entree, and a dessert. This is, in my opinion, a really good deal for $19.95 — especially when you take the view into account!

In reading Yelp reviews, I was under the impression that the service sucked and the food was lackluster, but that the views made up for it. The views were beautiful and the service did suck, but I actually thought the food was pretty great!

The bread was so good.

In fact, between a few slices of bread and the delicious salad, I filled up before my dinner came. Whoops!

I made it work, though.

I ended up eating the broccolini and half of the potatoes and then just took all of the chicken and the remaining potatoes home. I did, however, manage to finish my cheesecake. Priorities, people!

I didn’t get coffee, but Mark did, and I thought this picture was so pretty.

We were all really happy with our experience, even if Amanda and Andy don’t look like it. 🙂



How could we not be, with these views?


Pretty, right?

Anyway, that meal ended up lasting me for three meals! I used the chicken and potatoes for not one, but two salads — both yesterday’s and today’s lunches.

All in all, not a bad deal for $19.95. 🙂

13 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Maroon 5, Train & Gavin DeGraw

This past Monday, I went to the Hollywood Bowl again.

This time, I was going to see two of my favorite bands and a musician I like quite a bit — Maroon 5, Train and Gavin DeGraw.

I knew this would be a real treat, but I don’t think I knew just how much of a treat it would be. These guys all put on incredible concerts. And it was long! It started at 7pm (though I was about 20 minutes late) and didn’t end until after 11pm. There were hardly any breaks between the acts, too. It was actually pretty seamless.

I went with a mixed group of friends — both people from work and other bloggers (specifically, Katherine and Kelley again!). Katherine, Chris and I went separately (Chris and I were running late at work and Katherine was kind enough to drive us there).

Since we were late (Hollywood traffic at rush hour is no fun), we missed most of Gavin DeGraw, but we made up for it by getting beers (well, I didn’t, but they did) and acting super cool on our trek up to our seats.

You know how we do.

Once we got to our seats…

…We met up with Jodi, Vanessa and Rachel on one side…

… and Kelley and Irving on the other!

(Isn’t Kelley WAY TAN?!)

We caught the tail end of Gavin DeGraw, but we only heard two songs.

Fortunately, one of them was the one Katherine and I most wanted to hear — “I Don’t Want To Be.”

Chris, not so into the music of the night, made lots of jokes.

Between acts, I broke out my go-to dinner for the Hollywood Bowl — that same salad goat cheese & red pepper salad from TJ’s!

So good.

Soon, it got dark and TRAIN came on!

I was so excited to see them. I love all of their music (not just the singles — I own every album!), but I most NEEDED to hear “Meet Virginia,” which is one of my favorite songs of all time. Happily, they delivered. 🙂

They also sang a big crowd favorite, of course — “Hey, Soul Sister.” (Terrible quality, sorry).

And that’s Katherine you can hear singing, by the way. Actually, you can hear Katherine singing in just about all of the videos.

Train sang all of the big hits and a few other songs. I was thrilled.

Next up… the main event! MAROON 5! I also own all of their albums and may or may not know all of the words to just about every single song.

I cannot even tell you how amazing they were. Adam Levine is one sexy, sexy man.

They played all of their hits, which was fantastic. I taped most of them, but I’ll only share the two best quality and the two with surprise GUEST appearances!

“Makes Me Wonder”

“Misery”

“Man in the Mirror” with JAVIER COLON from The Voice!

I was sort of obsessed with The Voice, so this was really cool. I had a huge hunch that it was going to happen, but I still kind of lost my shit got excited when he came out.

And finally… “Leather and Lace” with STEVIE NICKS!

That was really exciting. What a cool surprise!

I lead a pretty great life.

Who have been some of the best bands/ musicians you’ve seen in concert? I’m going to have to say Hanson is my all-time best live experience (they’re so amazing live), but Train and Maroon 5 are up there too. I also saw Savage Garden live years and years ago and remember being impressed with how great they were live. Random!

Now you!

14 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

My Seven Links

Melissa from Trying to Heal tagged me in this little throwback game, which I actually really like. It was so fun to look back through my posts (the good, the bad and the ugly!) to see what I’ve written about and how I’ve changed as a blogger.

THE GOAL

To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

THE RULES

  1. Blogger is nominated to take part
  2. Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
  3. Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
  4. These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
  5. And so it goes on!
  6. We’ll be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on our blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

MY SEVEN

Most Beautiful:  A Perfect Connecticut Saturday — I am immediately taken back to that day when I look at those pictures.

Most Popular: Homemade Granola Bars (by a landslide!)


Most Controversial:  Food Commentary, maybe? I don’t think I write very controversial posts.


Most Helpful: Operation Beautiful: How I See  — For a little perspective when I’m feeling down about myself.


Surprise Success: Cake Batter Smoothie, largely thanks to Kate.


Not Enough Attention:  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti — These guys are the bomb.


Most Proud: I Did It! — Despite everything, this post still puts a smile on my face.

MY NOMINEES

Monica @ Yellow Brick Beauty

Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa

Kelley @ Kelocity

Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet

Kate @ What Kate is Cooking

In other news, bootcamp kicked my booty this morning! So, so glad to have it back in my life.

Rehab Day 38 (Friday)

Boot Camp (45 min)

Also, can we discuss how disgusting/ itchy/ awful sunburns are? Peeling is visible and tangible proof that our bodies are not meant to be in the sun unprotected.

Tell me about your worst sunburn ever. How did you get it? How did you take care of it? DID THE ITCHING EVER GO AWAY? Ahh!

10 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Blogger Meal Day

It’s pretty cool being a part of the healthy living blogger community sometimes. There are lots of reasons why, and today’s eats represent a pretty solid one: new meal ideas.

Both my breakfast and lunch today (and actually, dinner last night since part of today’s lunch involves leftovers from last night’s dinner) are things that I never would have made or even heard of if I were not a part of this community.

Breakfast today was a Protein Muffin, which I learned about through a guest post on Janetha’s blog, written by Deb (whom I’ve met!) of Smoothie Girl Eats Too.

I was really, really impressed with this recipe. It hits all of my breakfast requirements:

  • filling
  • yummy
  • easy
  • repeatable
  • (at least for now) gluten- and refined sugar-free
  • compatible with fruit and/ or toppings
  • mutable (as in, it can take on different flavors and varieties)
  • minimal clean-up
  • bonus!: easy to take on-the-go

So, basically, I was happy.

As for how easy it was, I quickly assembled this (plus an egg):

And just a few minutes later, I had this:

And I’m really not kidding about how filling it is — it kept me going for hours and hours! I can already tell that it’s going to be a new staple in my breakfast diet.

Based on what I had in my pantry/ fridge, what worked for my diet, and what sounded good to me this morning…

Into the mix went:

  • 1 egg (I prefer a whole egg to 2 egg whites)
  • applesauce
  • coconut flour
  • baking powder
  • Sucanat (my current sweetener of choice — thumbs up so far!)
  • carob powder (so good)
  • coconut butter (on top)

Check Deb’s post out for her recipe with exact measurements.

And that was that!

As for lunch (and dinner last night)…

I have Evan of The Wannabe Chef to thank for that. I’ve recently been catching up on lots of blog posts (I got very, very behind) and came across his recipe for socca. Given my current attempt to be gluten-free, these sounded pretty amazing.

Plus, like Evan, I’ve had a bag of garbanzo bean flour in my pantry forever and it was time to put some use to it.

I cannot even begin to tell you how easy these were. Literally, I threw the ingredients in a bowl, whisked them together, poured them into a pan, and had four pancakes (I doubled the batter) in five minutes. Unbelievable.

And they are delicious. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I haven’t had bread in weeks or what, but these guys were mouth-watering.

I didn’t have Italian Seasoning on hand (seriously, what kind of Italian am I?), so I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. It was perfect.

Last night, I topped two socca (soccas?) with a fried egg each, plus some feta. For lunch today, as you can see, I’ve topped two again with feta and also with zucchini (sliced and sauteed in EVOO).

Could. Not. Have. Been. Easier. Or more delicious. I have so many things I want to do with socca now! So… another staple to add to the diet.

I love that both new foods today are made from different flours (coconut and garbanzo bean). Even if I don’t end up having to go gluten-free, I’m keeping them in my repertoire. I’m thrilled with the high protein content in each of them and I love their flavors and textures.

Two for the win today!

Rehab Day 31 (Friday)

1 hr 15 min of yoga

Mark taught me yoga today, entirely focused on my sciatica. It was amazing. He is such a good teacher and I’m lucky to have him.

Have you ever tried socca or Deb’s protein muffins? How have you prepared/ eaten them? I’m looking for new ways to consume them (and my mind is already buzzing with possibilities)!

5 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Grease Is the Word

I had such an action-packed weekend full of fun pictures that I’m going to do it in three posts. Hooray! We’ll start with Friday night, which was at the Hollywood Bowl.

It was — wait for it — a Grease Sing-A-Long!

Sometimes, I think I lead the coolest life.

I went with a mish-mosh group of work friends, blogger friends, and film school friends. I like combining my worlds!

The people: Chris, Rachel, Amy, Irving, Kelley (not pictured above) and Katherine.

Amy was particularly prepared for the picnicking. Check out her kit! (TWSS? No…)

I managed to stick to my diet despite being surrounded by cookies, chips, wine and beer… yay me!

That salad is awesome, by the way. Get it. TJ’s (duh).

A few happy friends shots…

Chris & Amy:

Kelley & Irving:

Kelly, Katherine & me (please note that Katherine and I maintained our poses, per usual):

Me & Chris:

Oh, and here’s another shot of the Bowl, complete with the Hollywood sign in the distance.

After we finished picnicking, it was time to take our seats. We were able to catch the tail end of the costume contest. It was adorable. It was also led by Didi Conn, who played Frenchie! Her voice hasn’t changed a bit.

Meanwhile, we entertained ourselves with the little goodie bags they handed out. These goodie bags were full of props to play with during the movie (ADORABLE, by the way).

We got a head start and played with them before the movie started. 🙂

My blogger friends were slightly better behaved.

Once the show started, it was too dark and not worth taking pictures, but let me tell you — it was a blast. The crowd was so much fun and sang loudly along with everything. I would totally, 100% do it again and highly recommend it next year (if they do it) to any fellow Los Angelites.

Rehab Day 9 (Friday)

40 minutes strength training circuit (all arms & upper back)

Rehab Day 10 (Saturday)

1 hr 15 minutes yoga (I’ll post about this tomorrow!)

about an 1 hr 30 min walking (I’ll post about this tomorrow, too!)

Rehab Day 11 (Sunday)

5 minutes swimming. It was supposed to be more, but my goggles were completely defective and I gave up. So…

Rest Day 🙂

Rehab Day 12 (Monday)

Swimming: 30 laps in 30 minutes

Oh, don’t forget to enter my giveaway! My friends are awesome and my cookies are epic!

5 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

The Big Announcement

Are you ready?

Really, I think the question is: am I ready?

I’m quitting the gym. I’m changing up my entire routine. Why?

Because this came in the mail the other day:

The really important stuff:

In (pretty obsessively) reading all of the material and reading tons of stuff on the internet (I like to do my research!), I am feeling about 75% excited and 25% nervous.

Honestly, I’m mostly just thrilled to have something new to work toward and work with. I’ve been in my gym routine for over two years now and, let’s be honest, it stopped working. I stopped losing weight about a year and a half ago and I don’t really know what to do about that anymore. Plus, without any races to look forward to, I just need something else fitness-related to focus on.

So, I put some feelers out there on twitter and on facebook to both see what people thought of the program and to see if anyone had an old copy that they felt like getting rid of (P90X is expensive, yo!).

Who came to my rescue? Fellow blogger and friend from middle school, Parvin.

Parvin actually represents one of my very favorite things about blogging. I honestly hadn’t spoken to her since middle school, up until a few months ago. Then, somehow, we found each others’ blogs, started chatting, and realized just how much we have in common today and just how well we get along, all these years later. Pretty cool, right?

Also, her blog is really cool. I love the concept. Check it out. My favorite part is how she puts a relevant quote at the end of every post.

Here’s the card she sent me (hope it’s okay that I’m sharing, Parvin!):

Christine is actually another mutual friend who lives in LA and one whom I also hadn’t spoken to since middle school but found again through social media.

To thank Parvin for sending me her P90X, I sent her a batch of my homemade granola bars. And then she posted on facebook about it.

Our generation is so cool.

Anyway, back to the point of this post: P90X.

Mark and I are doing it together, which is good for both accountability and the buddy factor. Everything is more fun with a friend, right?

The program is intense. It’s a thirteen week program intended to basically shock the body and build muscle while trimming fat. I’m all over that ish.

It’s a different video (or two) every day, generally filling up about an hour and a half per day.

No days are optional. “Rest” days can be rest days or stretch days, but stretching is encouraged and, given my injury-prone ways, I’ll definitely be making them stretch days.

So, basically, our next three months look like this:

I know, right?

You may have noticed that we officially start on Monday. We’re doing the Fit Test on Sunday. It’s going to be awesome.

Mark and I will be doing the program slightly differently. For instance, I will be substituting all Plyometrics (lots of bending and jumping and just altogether not good for knees) with either Kenpo X or Cardio X (we’ll see as it goes), while Mark plans to do the program as is.

Naturally, since I’m ridiculously Type A, I printed out different sheets to differentiate our programs and results.

Furthermore, Mark doesn’t have any weight to lose but just wants to bulk up, while I definitely want to lose weight. Therefore, I’ll be more closely following the strictest nutrition regimen, while he’ll be following a different one.

That being said, I’m not sure how strictly we’ll be following the nutrition program at all. Mark is a vegetarian and while I am not a vegetarian, I’m sure you’ve noticed that meat is more of a “sometimes” food for me than a food group I eat with any kind of regularity. The P90X plan is certainly one that vegetarians can follow, but I am not sure how much it really aligns with how Mark or I think we should eat. Still, we will certainly be using their general guidelines.

More than anything else, nutrition-wise, I think the P90X program will lead us to significantly increasing our protein intake while generally lowering (but not eliminating) our carbohydrate, vegetable and fruit intakes (it really pains me to say that about fruits and vegetables… so… we’ll see).

Fitness-wise, I’m really curious to see how this goes with Mark because we’re both really competitive. Mark tries to pretend he’s not, but he so is. I, on the other hand, am more like Monica on Friends. I am absurdly competitive, especially when it’s fitness-related. Mark is currently in better shape than I am, so… it’s going to be interesting.

As for how this will affect the blog — personally, I think it’s going to make it a lot more interesting. I am not going to post my before pictures and stats, etc., mostly because I don’t think they’re really all that interesting or pertinent.

I imagine that, as you read about my experience with P90X, you’re going to want to hear about the experience — what the workouts are like, how I’m feeling from day to day, what the “recovery” weeks are like, how my knee is handling the workouts, if and where I’m building muscle, how much I think nutrition plays a part, etc.

Honestly, I think we’ll figure it out as we go along.

I’d really like your input, though — what do you want to hear about my P90X experience?

15 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts