Friday Faves

Hey friends! I survived my week! I am currently writing this post on Thursday night, the first night this week that I didn’t work overtime and/or didn’t have some kind of function to attend after work. PHEW.

My office hosted/coordinated/attended quite a few events this week (ALL of which took place on Wednesday, I might add) so it was a crazy time. And much like I said in my post about staying healthy in times of busy-ness, I have still been keeping up with my workouts…buuuut just not so much with the healthy eating part. Though I can successfully say I haven’t had any cheese and crackers dinners this week! Small victory.

In the little time I’ve had to surf the web over the past few weeks, I’ve accumulated a few fun finds, along with other things I’ve been enjoying IRL, that I wanted to share today. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Friday Faves

Remember my Muesli Protein Bars? They were selected as a finalist in the Muesli Fusion Recipe Contest! Please click here to go to the Facebook Poll and vote for me! All you have to do is click “Muesli Protein Bars — Blonde Ambition Blog”. First place AND runner up get a prize! Today is the LAST DAY to vote!

We made it through another week, y’all! Um, remind me never to try to make “y’all” happen again.

Let’s chalk it up to the fact that I am kind of in a rut. Socially, professionally, in every way possible it seems. There are only two things that I’ve consistently looked forward to these past couple of weeks: the Saturday morning Midtown Farmer’s Market, and my workouts. Food and fitness. Typical.

But otherwise, I am unfortunately in a slump. I feel like this happens every few years for me; I am definitely one to crave change. I chose to go to college in Santa Barbara mainly to get as far away from Sacramento as possible (at the time, the only way to get there was either a 6 hour drive, or via a 2-part flight). Then, because apparently 4 years in one place is too much for me, I spent one year of college dicking around studying abroad.

So you can imagine that now, after three years of living in the same place (with the same job for about half of that time) I’m kind of going stir crazy. Last weekend marked 3 years since graduation, and I’ll be turning 25 in three months. My twenties are almost half over. WTF?

In an effort to combat my case of the grumpies, today I am bringing you some things that I do like. 😉

Midtown Farmer’s Market

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farmersmarket

As mentioned above, I have been l-o-v-i-n-g the Saturday morning farmer’s market. The big year round Sunday Farmer’s Market is a good 20 blocks away from my apartment, which is kind of a long biking distance. Every week during the summer, there are mini farmer’s markets around my office, but they tend to have fewer vendors. The Midtown Farmer’s Market has live music, tons of vendors, is a whopping 5 blocks away from my apartment AND has free bike valet! I can’t wait to go tomorrow, I spotted tomatoes as I biked past yesterday’s market. I hate most tomatoes, but LOVE fresh cherry tomatoes and sometimes even homegrown regular ones too.

Pre-Planned Workouts

I have been trying to incorporate more strength training into my workouts, and workouts like this are perfect! I did this workout on Wednesday and my triceps are still super sore. I also have an iPad subscription to Women’s Health magazine, which has a lot of 15-minute workouts that I’ve been trying out. I did this body weight workout last week, but was  little leery of doing an L stand without someone to spot me. Also, ab roll ups are like the burpee’s annoying cousin.

Running

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I ran my furthest run ever last week, 3.4 miles! I have also been toying with the idea of running a 10K in late August or early September. Somehow, training 4 days per week in the Sacramento heat doesn’t sound desirable (or safe) though. I have upped my “minimum” distance to about 2.75 miles, so I am at least somewhat on track for the training in case I do decide to go for it. The training schedule I found shows 2.5-3 mile runs during the week (eventually increasing to 3-3.5 miles), and long runs on Saturdays.

Really Good Food

chicken & grilled veggies with fresh corn!

banhmi

spicy pork Banh Mi from Gogi’s Korean BBQ

cinnabuns

“semi homemade” cinnamon buns. made from an Auntie Annes kit which included yeast, flour, cinnamon sugar, and premade icing.

taco

meatless monday taco! with summer squash, yellow carrots, bell peppers and black beans. also, SRIRACHA.

I have been eating pretty frickin well lately.

Where do you get your workout ideas?

Change: Love it or hate it?

Friday Faves

Another week gone…thank goodness! I’ve gotta say though, it really does feel like the week flies by when you’re busy at work.

I did a lot better this week about eating healthily (thanks to my Sunday Food Prep, my only meal that wasn’t homemade this week was dinner last night at the dodgeball bar {pizza and beer FTW!}) and I continued my pretty good exercise streak. Last night before dodgeball, my friend Lisa and I did this quick upper-body workout from Women’s Health — perfect for easing my way into pumping iron again. I feel like I have the opposite problem as this guy: muscular legs, noodley arms.

Anyway, here’s what I’m lovin today:

1) This story about the “inventor” of Sriracha

It makes me love sriracha 20x more knowing that the product is made by a guy who really loves what he does.

2) Alexia products

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I know I’ve shown pictures of my dinners with fries on the side, but I’ve never explained where those come from…I have Alexia brand fries or potatoes a minimum of 2 nights per week! So so good. I am sad that it’s going to be too hot soon to use my oven, because they’ve really become a staple in my diet, and a key factor in making easy quick weeknight meals!

3) The Kings are (most likely) Staying in Sacramento!

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Crappy picture, but after the NBA Relocation Committee recommended to block our team’s move to Seattle, there was a HUGE crowd gathered at a bar/restaurant near my office for the mayor’s press conference. It was a happy day in my Facebook and Twitter feeds! #HereWeStay was trending NATIONALLY! YES! {not to mention it was the same day that Jason Collins became the first active NBA player to publicly come out of the closet. Great day for the NBA if you ask me!}

It’s still up in the air who the team will be sold to, but for now we know that they’re here for at least another season.

4) The Kentucky Derby

Is anyone else really into horse races? It’s totally in my genes: my grandpa on the East Coast started taking us to the races (dogs, horses, you name it) since we were little, and when I started dating T-Man I was delighted to learn that he loves it too! We have gone to Golden Gate Fields (as pictured above) quite a few times over the past couple of years for Dollar Days.

I’m putting together a Derby pool for our gambling-loving friends, and will TOTALLY be living vicariously through my future Blend Roomie, Becky, who is there and has already posted pictures of her first fabulous outfit + hat on Instagram!!!

5) Gradual Tanning lotion WITH SUNSCREEN from Jergens

THIS IS BIG, PEOPLE. Do you understand what a big deal it is for a pale chica like me to have discovered a lotion that safely (artificially) tans you WHILE PROTECTING YOUR SKIN?!

legs

Ready for these pale legs to get some color! Let’s call this my ‘before’ picture 🙂

I’ve always struggled with accepting my fair skin – especially when I attended college at a school right on the beach where everyone’s tan. Even at my tannest (summer after sophomore year) I was pretty pale according to normal standards! I’ve always been pretty good about applying sunscreen though, and after having a cancerous mole removed in January, I’m not taking chances anymore. I’ve used Jergen’s before and I like it…the smell didn’t seem to be as bad with this one at first, but it definitely lingers.

6) Rose gardens!

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McKinley Park Rose Garden

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Capitol Park Rose Garden

The rose gardens in Sacramento have been pretty epic lately. Last Saturday, T-Man and I had a picnic at McKinley Park and took a few minutes to walk around the epic rose garden there. This morning, I walked to work for the first time since Winter and got a chance to walk through the rose garden at Capitol Park! Loving springtime…even if it already feels like summer 🙂 (94 degrees today!)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Do you like horse races?

How do you maintain your skin’s natural (or in my case, not so natural) glow?

Friday Faves

1. All the TV themed Valentines I came across yesterday (or that were sent to me by my Valentine!)

downton-abbey-valentines

(first and FAVORITE that I received from T-Man 🙂 )

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Galentine's Day card

mad-men-valentines

(re: the 2nd one….best Mad Men episode ever!)

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bearsbeets

Seriously! All of my most favorite TV shows. So great.

2) Simple Valentine’s Day gifts

roses

No jewelry or gourmet chocolates needed for me…Just some roses (it is my middle name after all!) and delicious Lofthouse cookies 🙂

hot sauce

I knew what I was getting T-Man for Valentines Day over 1 month ago (here’s Twitter proof)…and thus I continue my reign as Best Gift Giver Ever. (T-Man loves hot sauce, his entire Crisper drawer is filled with different varieties of Cholula, Tapatio, and tons of other obscure names)

bordeaux heart

Aaaand I threw in a giant heart-shaped See’s Bordeaux for good measure.

3) These semi-homemade brownie truffles from Iowa Girl Eats

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They were perfect post-game treats for my dodgeball team last night. Plus, they were pink, just like our team shirts 🙂

4) Check out the weather last night at 5:45 PM!!!

weather!

Spring is a’comin, people! Not so stoked on the giant temp drop on Tuesday though.

5) Anna Kendrick has been killin’ it on Twitter lately. Seriously, she’s the source of all my mid-day LOLs

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images she linked to:

Love her.

And I love all of you! Hope you had a sweet Valentines Day, and enjoy the 3 day weekend (if you have one)!

Friday Faves

Happy Friday! I have been kind of lacking in the recipe category lately, and for that, I apologize. Sucks not getting home until after dark, because the lighting in my apartment is awful for photo taking. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to make a bunch of food to share over the next week or two!

I’ve been experimenting with lentils and chipotle (um, two of my favorite things!) and I also owe you all a spaghetti squash post…aaaaand a hummus post…. I’ve also been testing out recipes for The Beeroness’s upcoming cookbook, but I won’t be able to share those with you all until her book is published this fall 🙂 So instead I’m bringing you some Friday faves!

Fave Dead Guy: MLK

Partially because he’s the reason for the 3-day weekend…but mostly, I guess, cause he changed the world or whatever. 😛

Fave Splurge: lunch with friends!

source: Yelp!

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I broke my own rule and ate out twice this week. So worth it.

On Wednesday, my friend Kar’lei and I went to Ma Jong’s, which is right next door to my building. Usually, I order whatever is spiciest and I always think it’s just so-so…This time, I ordered Honey Ginger Chicken and it was SO good! They serve huge portions so I couldn’t finish the whole thing (and didn’t want to feel like I needed a nap the rest of the day :-P), but I brought home my leftovers for T-Man to devour.

Ma Jong's Asian Diner on Urbanspoon

Yesterday, my friend Mikhail got me to go to his favorite lunch spot, Crest Cafe, with him. He took advantage of their $9.99 lunch buffet, while I went with a fattoush salad with chicken. I knew that the cafe existed (it’s right next door to Crest Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Sacramento), but I had no idea they had awesome fresh mediterranean/middle eastern food! I looove fattoush salad, I kind of wish they’d had the traditional pita chips instead of pita bread on the side, but I promptly finished my salad anyway!
Crest Cafe on Urbanspoon

Fave Productivity Booster: Organizing my desk

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I’ve been so busy lately that my desk had already gone to s**t by Wednesday. It didn’t stay clean for long, but I did get a lot done that day! It reminds me of in high school and college when I wouldn’t start working on a paper until my room was clean. It’s part procrastination, part OCD 🙂

Fave Politically Incorrect Crossword Puzzle Answer: “sista”

When I was filling out 48-down, I couldn’t help but feel like Stan’s dad in South Park – when he’s playing Wheel of Fortune, the clue is “people who annoy you”, and he has the letters “N_GGERS”. I was like “What? Really? I’m really about to write ‘sista’ right now??”

Fave Uncommon Beer Pairing: Beer and Kettle Chips!

I spotted this pairing list on Twitter and can’t get enough. I love love love Kettle Chips, and beer pairings…but I’ve never thought to put the two together! I think the Salt & Pepper with an American Pale Ale is what I’d want to try most 🙂 The Spicy Thai and Saison sounds interesting too, though….hmmmm!!

Fave new top: PEPLUM!

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Here I was thinking I couldn’t pull off peplum. Found this super simple and cute top at Express – I usually don’t buy stuff full price there, but it was too cheap to say no 🙂 Now I’m stuck waiting until the weather is a little warmer so I can wear it! (Also, please ignore the blurry iPhone photo/atrocious state of my room. That’s one mess I haven’t had the courage to tackle since before Christmas!)

Any fun plans for the three-day weekend? The weather should be nice here (in the low 60’s), so I’m hoping to go for a run and maybe even a bike ride at some point!

P.s. We won our first dodgeball game last night! And all my bones are in tact 🙂

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Friday Faves

With the shocking news my family got just over a week ago, I thought it fitting to focus on some positive things this morning. Here’s what has been keeping me happy this past week!

1) Space Jump!!

Did any of you guys watch this? I didn’t know about it until the day before when my brother (the one sitting on the floor watching in awe) told me about it. We streamed it on YouTube for the last 30 minutes of our drive home from the Bay Area and made it back just in time to see him jump! That dude broke so many records!

2) This sink.

After a couple of the BEST.G&Ts.EVER at happy hour, it was totally the coolest thing ever. Cool enough to take a picture with, even. Obviously.

3) Lacey’s Cookies

I went to my grandparents’ house a couple of times last week and my grandma seemed to have a never-ending supply of these puppies in her kitchen. They are LIKE CRACK. Go to Costco right now and buy them. Your soul will thank you, your thighs will not.

4) The SF Giants!! ….or not.

 

My family (and a lot of my friends) is all pulling for the Giants, buuuuut with 2 straight losses, it’s not looking great. Still lots of fun to watch!

5) Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-tarts

Would you believe me if I told you that I had to get them cause they were the healthiest that CVS had? (They had the smallest amount of fat, and 3 whole grams of fiber?! What!?)

Also, I’d like to point out that I went to CVS to buy Drano…So when I went to the register, Drano and Pop Tarts in hand, and said, “Oh ya know, Drano and Pop Tarts….the essentials….” I felt pretty hilarious when the cashier gave me a sympathy chuckle.

6) Pumpkin errythang.

So far, I’ve roasted three pumpkins and made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, a dozen pumpkin muffins, pumpkin curry, and a tray of roasted pumpkin seeds. Oh and drank at least 3 of my parents’ pumpkin beers. I guess I like pumpkin now…

7) This crew neck “I” made for my Papa

So I should totally wear it to his memorial, right? Sweater dress chic? No?

8) This friggin ginormous veggie sandwich I had for lunch yesterday!!!!

From top: mashed avocado, sprouts, red onion, more sprouts, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, cucumber, feta & kalamata olives! All on wheat walnut bread.

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Have a great weekend everyone! I’ve got a YMCA auction and a Haunted Corn Maze on my agenda. I’m not gonna lie…..I’m nervous about the corn maze. Wish me luck!!

Friday Faves

What a weird week. It was a 3-day weekend for most of us, which was nice! My 3 day weekend was kind of interrupted, but also kind of extended when I had to fly down to Santa Barbara Monday afternoon for work the next day. I got home Tuesday night (after 5 ours of travel each way), and all of a sudden my normal workweek was down to 3 days! It has still felt like a long week, with my new schedule and all, so I am actually seriously saying TGIF today!

Here are some things I enjoyed doing, eating, and watching this week!

1) SoCal Mexican Food

The closer to the border, the better the food. Shortly after landing in Santa Barbara, I went to La Super-Rica with my old housemate & friends. SO GOOD. You choose from a menu of about 20 items all priced under $5, each item comes with a taco “filling” and 2-3 HOMEMADE tortillas. I got 2 — guacamole as well as pinto beans with chorizo & bacon. And I ate it up in all 4 tortillas. For 6 bucks.

P.S. We found out when I checked in on foursquare that the famed restaurant has been on Man vs. Food…but what we didn’t know was apparently French foodie Julia Child loved it too!

2) Breaking Bad

La Tortuga. Nuff said. Workin’ my way through the end of season 2!

3) Breakfast

After I made oatmeal for myself, I then proceeded to make fancy breakfasts the next 3 days. I’m usually not much of a breakfast person — I made whole wheat french toast two days in a row, followed by a  perfectly fried egg on toast for T-Man! (I took the not as perfect one for myself :))

4) The DNC

I get the feeling politics are a little taboo to talk about in Food Blog Land, but I do work in state politics so it’s hard for me to stay away! My roomie (who also works in politics) and I were glued to our computer screens watching Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bill Clinton speak. I was impressed by and, as someone who also has college loan debts, related to the FLOTUS, but I was really blown away by Bill Clinton’s clear stating of the facts. All self-indulgent off-script rants and raves aside 🙂 I also watched the RNC and was impressed to a certain degree, but I’m overall feeling very good about the Dems.

5) Blind wine tasting

The night I was in SB, we also did a blind wine taste test with bottles of wine ranging from $10-$2 in price! Apparently, blind tastings are actually really hard to do with cheap wines that don’t always taste like they’re supposed to 😛 Greg got all 3 right though! I’m getting another chance this weekend when I go to a friends place in the Central Valley to stomp grapes and do more “white trash” taste tests!

6) Being “healed”

10 weeks after breaking my hand, this is what my bone looks like then vs. now. As you can tell, it isn’t exactly 100% healed. But it’s healed enough that my doctor says I can start wearing my splint less and start rehabbing my wrist and fingers! The bad news is, he thinks my long healing time is indicative of low bone density and wants me to get tested to see if I have osteopenia or osteoporosis. Seriously? I’m not even 24 yet!

Have a great weekend! I hope to not become this lady when I go grape stomping tomorrow: