Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Baby Steps...Literally

It's been 2 days since my first PT work out and I can barely move.If falling down stairs was safer, that's how I would be taking them! I mean sneezing this morning almost brought me to my knees but it's too hard to get that low so I suffered standing up. The good news is that what ever I did obviously worked so I'm super excited for the day I will start to see the results. Keep on keeping on! 

Now, to shape up my diet. As I previously mentioned, I currently use Weight Watchers for logging my food. I have not lost a single pound since joining and that's because, in spite of logging almost every morsel I shove in my face, I have exceeded my daily point allowance an average of 20 points per day. If any of this is hard to follow I will sum it up with this: alcohol is a lot of points/calories! Yea, the 2-4 cocktails I consume a night are a serious contribution to the semi-permanent flotation device currently saddled around my middle. This sends me into a flurry of mixed emotions! I love my wine and martinis....a lot. I enjoy social drinking, wine with my food, unsocial drinking, a glass in a bath to unwind; really there isn't a moment in my free time that a tasty, cold, refreshing cocktail isn't appropriate. But the time has come to slam on the party brakes and indulge myself in some good ol' fashion moderation.This is not an easy challenge but I'm willing to arise to the occasion for my health and my dedication to the "Finally, My Jeans Fit Me" cause. So raise your water bottles in a toast to a fitter me, it's gonna be so worth it. CHEERS!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Round is Not the Shape for Me

The weight is over! For the next few months I’d like to use My Favorite Things as my daily diary & tracker as I embark on a fitness journey that I would like to refer to as “Finally, My Jeans Fit Me”. Turning 31 seemed to have more symbolism in my life than I expected as that is also the number of pounds I have gained. Coincidence I wonder? Probably not! But, just as 31 will not last forever neither shall this tire that currently resides around my waist!

The battle of the bulge is not an unfamiliar term to me. I have dieted & worked out & dabbled in eating disorders & bought the “magic” pill since high school. Tired & heavier now than any recent time I can remember, I am fed up with the arduous “get skinny journey”, more than ever before. I can’t purchase one more pair of size 15 pants & I can’t afford to get new bras just because I’m growing out of the nice ones I have!

“Stop the madness!” I scream at myself daily. So I am & this is where I intend to document it.

Recently I joined Weight Watchers (for the second time) where logging my food has given me awareness of just how 31 pounds came to be, but I haven’t lost a bit & it’s been 4 weeks. I've been slowly increasing my fitness but find it’s easier to lift a glass of wine to lips after a 12 hour work day than to work out at a gym. So, just yesterday I took a huge leap off the Fat Cliff and hired myself a person trainer. Yep, my very own PT drill sergeant to help kick my ass into shape & preferably a nicer shape thank you!

The Plan: Saturday & Monday with PT & 1-2 days cardio or other workout alone.
The Goal: 31 pounds by the trip planned for September 25. That is exactly 13 weeks from today! More coincidence that 13 backwards is 31?? I think not! Do work son!

Current Stats:
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 188.8

Let the journey begin!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Oyster Trip Summer 2013

It seems an entire year went by with nothing exciting to post, but I’m back! Summer 2013 has just begun & I celebrated it with friends on a day trip for Oysters, Ocean & Sun…2 outta 3 ain't bad.
None of us had ever been to the Point Reyes part of California, home to many Oyster farms. My love of these delicious little delicacies inspired this excursion where our first destination happened to be the Marin French Cheese Co.  Little tasty samples of their cheese were placed about and we sampled & bought for a later picnic lunch. Try the mild & buttery Petite Breakfast….my favorite by far. We continued on to Hwy 1 towards Marshall, home of the Marshall Store & the most delicious Oysters I have had to date. In planning this trip, I was torn between the popular Tomales Bay picnic area, Hogs Island & the ever famous Drakes Bay. Well, as it turns out a lot of Yelping and Googling goes a long way & I unexpectedly came upon this gem! The Marshall Store had great reviews on service and location and they were right on. About 15 minutes North of Tomales Bay (which was insanely crowded) we pulled into the little market & quickly took our place in line. We were lucky enough to find a picnic bench right away & we parked it and waited (only about 7-10 minutes) for the plates of oysters to arrive. I chose the ½ dozen BBQ with Marshall Store Special Sauce and the ½ dozen raw served with the house mignonette. We sipped beer and slurped shell fish, taking in the view and the occasional sun. It was amazing! This little shack met every expectation I had and more.

A while later we headed back on Hwy 1 towards Stinson for some relaxing and well deserved beach time. I needed the sand between my toes like a hermit crab needs a shell…you get my point. Careful not to run over any of the hundreds of bikers on the road, we safely made it to the beach and spread out for some napping, eating, drinking and dog watching. I have mentioned before my love of Stinson, and it seems not much had changed! My soul was calmed at home with the ocean; I swear I could be a mermaid. To end our day venture we bellied up to the bar at the Sandollar to listen to some jazz and grab a cocktail. It was just what we needed to end our summer kick off and it definitely won’t be the last road trip I take for oysters! 
Raw with Mignonette

Dog Days of Summer


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cocktail Friday Presents: The White Linen

hi·a·tus -/[hahy-ey-tuhs] noun, plural -tus·es, -tus.

  1. A break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
No need to fear, the hiatus is over - for now anyways! Summer has been a whirlwind full of fun activities & it seems it's over before I really got to enjoy it. In a last ditch effort to keep fall from closing in, I encourage you to find a cool location this weekend and treat yourself to cocktail hour – using of course this delicious recipe I am about to share with you!

A fabulous chicky at the bar I occasionally work shared this recipe with me; & boy am I happy she did!! Normally I am not a gin lover. In fact, I rather despised it until this fancy lil' drink made me a #1 FAN!! I'd rate this drink a 10 all around. The no hassle recipe & little prep makes anyone look like a pro. Combinations of  lemon & cucumber are pure bottled sunshine & I added a small sprig of mint because I think it's delicious! But it's how these elements work with the natural flavors in the gin that makes this hand crafted cocktail so genius.

Essence of pine & mint instantly transport me through a forest of eucalyptus and red woods. I imagine I'm winding through the roads of Muir Woods ~ it's like vacation in a glass.....oops, caught in a day dream! Shake it off! Okay, I'm back. But of all these yummy ingredients, it's the Elderflower liqueur that really gives this drink its name. In other words, White Linen - St. Germain = Not a White Linen. Capeesh?

Time for one more day dream! I want you to close your eyes and envision yourself tangled in freshly washed sheets, hung out to dry. The sun is tingling on your skin, the coolness of the sheets give a slight chill over the warm breeze. Now, take a deep breath...can you smell the crisp fresh clean of the linen? It's an unmistakable scent most love, but wait until you taste it…freshly washed sheets never tasted so good! I know it sounds funny, but you'll see exactly what I mean after you try this baby out & you won't be disappointed! So with no further a due ~ Ladies' & Gentlemen….
The White Linen

· 1 ½ oz gin – I prefer Nolet's Dry Gin
· ½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
· ½ oz Simple Syrup
· 1 oz Lemon Juice
· 5-6 thin slices English cucumber

 & 1 Mint sprig (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and muddle to break up the mint and cucumber - shake well. Strain into a highball glass with ice, top with soda water and garnish with a cucumber . Sip and enjoy. Clinky! (also read as Cheers!)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Love the Beach!

We celebrated our long weekend by heading to the ocean! It couldn't have been a more beach-perfect day! We live in the Sacramento area of California, so the beach isn't exactly in our backyard. But we love it so much that during the summer we try to go at least a couple of times a month. Our favorite Nor Cal beach is Stinson. This beautiful treasure is located just above Marin on Hwy 1, on the outskirts of Muir Woods. The drive in is scenic and a bit curvy (beware those that get carsick), but who would trade the views! This little town is in no way short on character. You'll find a few small hotels to accommodate travelers, a liquor store with a coffee cart stationed outside, a library and two fabulous little restaurants (The Sand Dollar and Breakers) right on the main strip. We love The Sand Dollar, like a home away from home; great food, awesome drinks and better company.

Try the Fish Tacos!

Best (& possibly the only) breakfast in town

Stinson Beach looking South to Muir Beach

Stinson Beach looking North to Bolinas

The beach is pristine here! The sand is soft and the water is clean, great boogie boarding conditions. Unless it's a super hot day though, that cold Nor Cal water is sure to shock you. We prefer the beach closer to the beach houses as it is dog friendly! All kinds of pooches running around, fetching balls and frisbees provide endless hours of entertainment for me (and our little pup too!)

So, for all of you beach people in Nor Cal, I highly suggest a visit to this California gem; you will not be disappointed!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

The 4th of July was always a special holiday for me growing up. On July 3rd, we would arrive at my Grandma Vera's to find our new red, white and blue outfits hanging neatly in the bedroom. A basket full of fried chicken, potato salad and brownies packed, we loaded on a bus to the annual Hollywood Bowl July 4th spectacular. The Los Angeles Philharmonic would play an array of wonderful nostalgic songs, and some years, they featured a Disney theme which was always a treat for grown-ups and kids alike. As it turned to dark, the music became patriotic and fireworks ripped through the sky. It was and still is my fondest memory of this holiday.
The next day we were at the park with all the family from my Mothers side. Cousins, aunts and uncles would pair up for the balloon toss followed by the infamous egg toss. There was rarely a year that my cousin Katie and I didn't take first place! We filled our bellies with more fried chicken and deviled eggs (my favorite) while the men played horse shoes and the women chatted and all the kids played in the shade. I sometimes find myself wishing those days weren't just a memory.
Now all grown up, July 4th is a simpler day. One thing still remaining is the desire to celebrate our Countries independence with friends we love. We gather with beers in hand and BBQ's blazing to enjoy the freedoms so many have sacrificed for us to have. So CHEERS to friends, family and freedom. May you all have a wonderful and memory filled Fourth of July!

Here are pics of my favorite things on July 4th...

Hollywood Bowl July 4th Celebration


I <3 Fireworks



I <3 America

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cocktail Friday Presents: Carolina Peach Sangria

Welcome to Cocktail Friday everyone! I have been in the restaurant business for quite some time now and have spent some years behind the bar. It's a great feeling to create cocktail and watch the satisfied face of a customer as the yummy liquor hits their lips; I'm parched just thinking about it! Also, for all you entertainers, it's wonderful to have a repertoire of tasty drinks to whip up for thirsty guests or even for just yourself after a long week.

 I came upon this delicious recipe surfing around one of my all time favorite sites, MyRecipes.Com. It was love at first sight! I can't think of a better way to celebrate summer than with a pitcher of this sensational sangria. The combination of peaches and raspberry's is genius (and beautiful) and the addition of vodka brightens this mix to its fullest Summer time potential. But beware; this one will sneak up on you!

Carolina Peach Sangria Recipe
Southern Living June 2010

Carolina Peach Sangria
Yield: 9 cups Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 8 hours
1 (750 ml) bottle rose' wine
¾ cup vodka*
½ cup peach nectar
6 tablespoons thawed frozen lemonade
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lb. ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled
Combine first 5 ingredients in a pitcher; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peaches and raspberries. Cover and chill 8 hours. Stir in chilled club soda just before serving.
*Peach-flavored vodka may be substituted. Omit peach nectar.
**1 cup frozen raspberries may be substituted.