Flashback Friday — 4 Years After Graduation

Four years ago today, I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with BA’s in Global Studies and French.

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I’ve been out of college for just as long as I was in it. That’s a strange feeling.

I didn’t really know what laid ahead for me on June 13th, 2010. I have always had a lot of interests…maybe too many. I like to dabble in a little bit of everything…but never a whole lot of one thing. We had 3 months left on the lease on our apartment in Isla Vista, so my roommates and I stayed and worked on campus for the summer, soaking up every minute of the Isla Vista “college life” that we could. Blissfully unaware of what we (or at least I) would do when the summer ended. Continue reading

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UC Santa Barbara: My Second Home

The four years I attended college at UC Santa Barbara were the best of my life.

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I can’t tell you on how many different occasions I sat on the patio at the dining commons with friends, or walked the 5 minutes it took to get to the beach, or biked through Isla Vista, looked around, and said, “I can’t believe we live here.Continue reading

Farmer Fresh Fiesta Friday

There are so many wonderful things about summer. Sunshine, swimming, bright colors, barbecues, vacation, weddings…just to name a few. But since this is my first summer of living on my own out of college, I’m learning there’s another great thing about summer: all the best produce is fresh, cheap, and bountiful!

This is the weekly Certified Organic Farmer’s Market at Capitol Park next to the State Capitol (and my office). Every other week, I usually stop by and get a few things like fruit and veggies for myself, or almonds and pistachios to share at the office. Pretty much every day of the week, there is at least one Farmer’s Market going on somewhere in Downtown Sacramento!

Normally I only need to stop by every other week, though, because I have another farmer supplying me: my dad! Check out how his garden looked a few weeks ago:

Doesn’t it all look great? I’ve pretty much stopped buying zucchini at the grocery store or farmer’s market because every time I go to my parents’ house, I come back with a zucchini the size of my face. No, seriously:

I have a feeling tomatoes and corn are next!

Check out some of the ways I’ve been using up all my Farmer’s Market finds:

Grilled Veggie Tacos that I showed y’all on my Day of Eats

After my Mexican Pizza recipe, I think you all know that I’m a fan of piling things on a tortilla and calling it a pizza. In lieu of refried beans, I often mash some avocado instead! Above is roasted veggies, below is steamed/sauteed (with my favorite coasters!).

Charred corny goodness.

OK this is not at all Farmers Market fresh, but I just wanted to share this tip I recently tried: add a touch of french vanilla creamer in your plain oatmeal! What?! Amazing!

Fudgey ZUCCHINI cookies from Two Peas and their Pod! The zucchini is perfectly hidden by all the chocolate!

Inspired by Edible Perspective’s Curry Zucchini Roll ups, I tried my hand at Caprese Zucchini Roll ups (they have basil, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella & a bit of avocado stuffed inside!), but kind of majorly failed. They wouldn’t stay together, but at least they tasted good!

Last night’s dinner: a kale salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, and homemade balsamic vin all over the bowl. Kale isn’t exactly in season right now, but for some reason I keep buying it at the market…

Now, I’ve covered Farmer Fresh… Why the Fiesta in the title?

This week is Fiesta in Santa Barbara! A week of parades, carnivals, parties…….and confetti eggs.

I will use a few photos of my friends and I in 2010 as a demonstration:

They seem unassuming enough, right?

We thought so too…

But then…

…the aftermath!! (p.s. not my hair! Don’t worry, I didn’t turn into a brunette in a matter of minutes ;P)

And even though I don’t live in Santa Barbara anymore, I’m still feelin’ the Fiesta — the law firm I work for has their California headquarters in Santa Barbara, and gives all California employees a half day on “Fiesta Friday”! Ole! Have a great weekend!

Also, I’ll just leave this here.

Healthy Weight Loss: My Story (and Tips!)

My drivers license (obtained at age 15 and a half) states my weight as 113 pounds.

Also, I looked like this.

With a 5’5″ frame, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never be that size again – and also that I never should be that size again. Actually, let’s just not go back to any of the qualities I possessed at the time of this photo. I mean, come on, I was wearing a puka shell necklace.

College was a tumultuous time. I frequently went up and down in weight…but mostly up. I graduated college weighing nearly 25 pounds more than my license said I did.

I moved home, jobless, with nothing to do. I started doing exercise videos or jogging in the morning, and watching Food Network all day until I cooked dinner. I learned about different foods, their benefits, and healthy ways to prepare them. I downloaded a calorie counting app to control my portions and snacking.

Continue reading