What I'm loving Right Now


Things are moving a little bit slowly this Monday. I haven’t really been able to wake up all day. Unfortunately this isn’t due to a wild and crazy weekend, but rather the fact that I’ve given up soda. I don’t know that this abstention from the bubbly sugary goodness is permanent, but for now I’m on the Dr. Pepper wagon. I haven’t had a soda for a few days, and with the exception of this morning the only time it has been really awful was when I was gobbling up a popcorn (with butter and salt of course!) at Shutter Island on Saturday.

The popcorn was certainly delightful, and the movie was better than I expected as well. While on the topic of movies, I still haven’t made it any closer to my goal to see all of the best picture nominees. Blame it on laziness.  I’ve also had 500 days of summer checked out for about 2 weeks now, and for the life of me I can’t force myself to sit through it. I just can’t get into it (Although in all fairness this could be due to the fact that I really love the streaming netflix and all of the options it gives you).

I’ve  tried two new recipes in the past two days, and I must say that so far Paula Deen is kind of failing me.  In all fairness the two recipes that I have picked out of the book so far have had zero prep time, but I still haven’t been overly impressed. On the plus side, even when my food doesn’t look/taste that great, my apron is always cute. Behold:

Yep, those are cherries!

I LOVE my retro cherries apron.  I mean look at it, it even has BOWS!  All I need is to vacuum in heals and pearls and it’s the 50’s.

Unfortunately, I don’t just have the apron because it’s cute.  I can kind of be a messy cook, so it’s kind of a necessity.  Besides which, cooking is kind of like everything else, buying/using the gear is half the fun!

The sun finally decided to make an appearance this weekend, and it was glorious! I needed to soak up as much vitamin D as possible. Living in Northern California has many MANY advantages (many downsides too, but we won’t discuss the traffic, the homelessness, the exorbitant rent, etc.) one of which is the plethora of outdoor activities just a short distance from the city.
To celebrate the suns arrival we decided to go for a nice hike and headed to the East Bay to Mt. Diablo. We have hiked here several times and I absolutely adore it. It’s just a short drive from the city but you really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. It’s never been super busy when I’ve visited, and the scenery is breathtaking.

Of course, guess who couldn’t find her memory card for her camera? And who then immediately found it when she got home in her laptop bag. Yep, that’s right. A whole day of gorgeous scenery wasted. This tells me that I need to A.) Pick up a spare memory card and B.) Don’t put things in logical places because I will never look for them there. I swear to you, I looked under the bed for that card 3 times. It never occurred to me to look in my laptop bag. Ugggg.

A few months back I picked up a book that lists the best hiking in California so we are never short on places to explore. This weekends trail was one we’ve actually attempted before, but have gotten side tracked and ended up on other trails.  It’s called the Falls Trail Loop, and shock of all shocks, it takes you by several gorgeous waterfalls.

Alas, the only photos I have are of the crappy variety taken on my camera phone which don’t do them any sort of justice.

I’m always excited to get outdoors, but was especially looking forward to it this time, as I just got AWESOME new hiking stuff. Let’s be honest, sometimes getting the new gear is 15% of the fun.

Up first, my newest hiking shoes. These things are outstanding. More like a tennis shoe, but with tons of ankle support and a great amount of tread. They are incredibly light weight and are shockingly comfortable. They are also really breathable, dry quickly, and aren’t as ugly as they could be.

They are the Northface Hedgehog XCR hiking shoe.  Check them out if you need a pair.

Next up, my fantastic new day pack.  It’s perfect. PERFECT.  If only I could find a handbag that fits my needs this well, life would be perfect.  It has more than enough space for everything I could possibly need, in addition to a 2 liter bladder for water. I’m pretty in love with it.

Behold: The Deuter Trans Alpine 26 SL

Fingers crossed that this awesome weather holds and I can get out there again this weekend!

I’m attempting to clean out my handbag, which is no small job.  For some reason it’s like a bottomless pit.

Apparently my lip gloss obsession is getting a little out of control.

Behold, the supply that I carry with me daily:

In the event of a disaster my lips will remain well glossed and hydrated

This doesn’t include whats in my makeup drawer or my travel bag.  I think I’m placing myself on a lip gloss buying ban.

It’s raining. Again.

Not that I don’t appreciate the rain, it means that I get to wear my super cute and fun purple rain boots.

Who doesn't love polka dots?

However,  it can be a bit much trudging through the rain to the train, not to mention the already questionable smell of the BART becomes substantially worse when mixed with water. On the plus side it washes away some of the pee smell from outside of the BART station, which is nice.

I wish this were the kind of city where you could carry a lovely and dainty umbrella, something fun and cheery, something that looks like it was plucked from a tropical mixed drink. But alas the wind won’t allow for it. Instead something substantial that won’t turn inside out when the breeze blows is much more practical, at least if you want to arrive where you are headed dry.

I certainly wouldn’t complain if I had the Moschino trench coat the Darryl Hannah wore in Kill Bill:

Looking dangerous...

That seems like a fashionable way to stay dry (she can keep the eye patch).

The rainy season isn’t going anywhere, but I’m going to attempt to channel spring and make it hurry up a bit by getting a nice pedicure with my new color obsession “Suzi Says Feng Shui”

Hello spring!!

At some point the rainboots will go back in the closet and my toes will actually make an appearance.  Hopefully I won’t drown first.

My replacement Kindle arrived today! Seriously, I think Amazon is magic.  Just magic.  I was so excited to see it that I wrote a very complementary email to the company about the awesome customer service rep who helped me through the whole process.  It was possibly the least painful return process I’ve ever experienced and he could not have been more helpful or friendly.

So how to properly celebrate? By checking out the new cupcake place I discovered mere blocks from my place. Behold, desert:

It's like cake, only better

Sure, I’m not much of a sweets eater, but there is something about a good cupcake with an interesting flavor.

Behold:  The Dreamsicle cupcake

Dreamy. No really.

So its cupcakes and books around here this evening.

Currently Reading: “The Kite Runner” By Khaled Hosseini. Yes, I’m probably the last person in the world to read it. It has been on my list forever, and I’m finally getting around to it.  I’m almost finished and have enjoyed it immensely.

Next up: “Dear John” By Nicholas Sparks.  It will probably be slightly cheesey and a tear-jerker, exactly the way I want my Nicholas Sparks to be.

I could be the last person on the planet who gets excited by the prospect of mail. Like real honest-to-god mail in the mailbox mail. Not bills (of course), or email, or the stupid fliers from the grocery store, but something that someone has taken the time to write and put in an envelope and send to me.

I adore getting holiday cards. Religious, funny, ugly, whatever, I love getting them. And the holidays are pretty much the only time that it happens. The occasional thank you note will arrive, but certainly not regularly.

Which is another topic, whatever happened to the thank you note? From the age of about 4 it was drilled into my head that you should write one for just about everything. I guess people just aren’t that into them anymore. It might be the mid-westerner in me, but I just think that nothing can replace a nice handwritten thank you. It takes about a minute out of your day and is truly gracious. An email just doesn’t show the same level of thoughtfulness, in my opinion. Wow, I just realized how Ms. Manners that sounded, so I just spit on the sidewalk and pushed an old lady. Equilibrium restored.

And as long as I’m headed down this road, what is it with people sending out Holiday cards with absolutely NO PERSONAL TOUCH? I mean, if you can’t even bother to actually SIGN a card to me, or write just a quick little sentence to personalize it, please don’t bother. I don’t really need to be part of your envelope stuffing campaign. Wow! From Ms. Manners to crotchety old lady, all in one post.

Circling back around, outside of the thank you note I’ve never been much of a note writer. I’ve decided that perhaps the key to RECEIVING mail is to send it. So I’m making a conscious effort to be one of those people who remembers birthdays, special occasions, or just because, with a card or a note. I’m not going to single handily turn around the woes of the post office, but I’m planning  on doing my part. And honestly, with all the cute stationary and notecards out there, I don’t think it should be a problem. I’ve ordered some really cute notecards, and some personalized correspondence cards.

My pretty new notecards!

Now to fill up some mail boxes!

Allow me to let you in on a little secret. I hate running. Actually, I hate running outside. I don’t like the fact that I have no idea how far I’ve gone, or what my pace is. It’s especially not fun in this city which is kind of known for it’s hills. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if I A.) Had the motivation/time/money and ability to work out at a set time, to join a gym and B.) Hadn’t decided that 2010 would be the year that I would run twice a week.

But that’s where I got sneaky. I only vowed to RUN twice a week. No mention was made of distance in said vow. So I’ve literally been running my errands. Movie to return to blockbuster? Run there. Need a passport photo? Run to Costco (though I don’t recommend this one, the picture looked awful). Sure it’s a little bit irritating to run back with stuff, but two birds one stone, and I’m already irritated that I’m running in the first place.

Saturday I needed a book for book club (You have no idea how annoyed I was that it wasn’t available for my Kindle), so it was time to run to Borders. Once I picked up my book I certainly wasn’t in much of a hurry to run back home, so I began to leisurely peruse the aisles. Borders LOVES to put crap I don’t need but have to at least examine on tables towards the front of the store. They also love to make said crap super cheap so that I end up buying a calendar three months into the year or a Christmas reading lamp in July.

They really got me with this months theme. It was clearly all about new years resolutions. Books about weight-loss, books about being a better you, skinny cookbooks, stop smoking, learn a new hobby. It was all spread out on the table to make everyone coming through the door feel bad about the fact that it’s the middle of January and they haven’t improved themselves a bit.

And then I saw it…….Jillian Michaels! She is my favorite trainer from the biggest loser, which I enjoy watching/crying along with the contestants with a nice order of Chinese takeout. Her workout videos (and her books) were laying innocently with all the other weight-loss material on the table. Did I mention they were buy one get one half off? I immediately snapped up two of them. This would be the answer. I might hate running and I might be feeling a little bit guilty that I’m not EXACTLY committing myself to my resolution, but if I did her video, voila! I’d be in shape and wouldn’t have to feel as bad about running to buy a bottle of wine or pick up cheese.

The answer to my guilt only cost me 21 bucks. For that I got the 30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones. That way I would be in killer shape when I counted a run to grab coffee as one of my weekly runs. The whole run home I was feeling very satisfied with myself.

There is a reason her contestants are always crying on the show. I’m only on level one of the 30 day shred video. It’s supposed to be the easy level and it’s only 20 mins. The morning after my second session It killed to go down the stairs. She makes you sweat like a pig.  Don’t even ask about how hard the routines to get rid of “trouble zones” are. My Abs hurt so badly that laughing makes me want to cry.

The women might be the devil. She is constantly encouraging me, saying things like “Pain is fear leaving the body”. Well thanks Jillian, I didn’t realize how much fear I was carrying around.

The only part of my body that doesn’t hurt is my fingertips.

The scariest part? I’m finding myself loving it. Clearly I need help.

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