Friday, April 29, 2011

Ready for the Weekend

This has been a long & busy week. I am ready for the weekend!! It's supposed to be super nice out this weekend. Check out our weather forecast.


During lunch today, I walked to Subway to get a sandwich. I walked past a little park and decided to have lunch in the park. The park is called Portsmouth Square Plaza. This park has some surprising history you can read about, here.






This park is technically in Chinatown. My new office is on the boarder of North Beach (Italian District) and Chinatown. It's pretty cool to be in the mix! It's pretty funny to be a blonde, white girl eating lunch in a park in Chinatown. It was basically all older Asian men hanging around, playing what looked like a Checkers game, and just chillin out. They were looking at me like I was an alien. hah

It was nice to get out of the office and enjoy the sun. Now, I am ready to get out and enjoy a beer! Have a good weekend!!

Windy Day!


On Thursday after work, it was SOOOOO windy out. It was hard to walk because the wind was so strong! I brought Evie up to Buena Vista park and the wind was howling and the trees were blowing. She was scared!

Look at her in this picture - her ears are back & she is like, what the heck is happening right now?!

What a baby!!

We went for our walk and she ran around in the park. I love that it stays light out past 8pm! It gives us more time to be outside.

Movie Night: Water for Elephants

On Wednesday, we had our monthly Movie Night. We saw Water for Elephants at the mall. I would first like to give you a glimpse of what the SF mall food court is like because it really is unlike any other I've been to.

First of all, we have a lot of options and there is no fast food - no McDonalds or Subway. At most of the food court 'restaurant's, you can order beer or wine, too! On Wednesday, I had the roadhouse salad from Buckhorn Grill. It is amazing! There are these crispy onions on top & you can choose your meat. How funny is this that when I asked for salmon, they asked me - wild or farmed? Another moment of...Only in SF!

Once you are finished with your meal, you can just leave your tray on the table and someone comes & cleans it up for you!! It's still so strange to me and when I bring my tray up to the trash area, someone always takes it and is like "Let me take that from you." So, if you want a nice dining experience, come to the SF mall! hah


On to the movie....When I read the book, I was torn between liking the story and feeling compassion for the animals. It pained me to read about any type of abuse and it was equally hard to watch. So, I sat there with my eyes shut during some parts. I know that nothing was really happening to the animals, but STILL.

I think the movie was great although it was a little anticlimactic. I thought they could have done a better job of showing the abusive relationship between August & Marlena, and also show a stronger love connection or a the connection growing between Marlena & Jacob throughout the movie. I think that everyone was cast perfectly though - especially, Christoph Waltz. If you have seen him Inglorious Bastards, you know how evil he can play. He did a great job in this film. The real star of the film was Rosie, the elephant! So sweet.

I know that they say 'No animals were harmed in the filming of this film' but it is still hard for me to watch animals in movies. They were harmed- they were taken OUT of their natural habitat for a film purpose. They were trained to do things unnaturally for our entertainment.

I had the same reaction when I read the book - at what point is it ok to have animals & train them. Should I have a dog? Why is it OK for me to have a dog but not ok for people to have a monkey as a pet? Aren't I keeping my dog from doing & living how she might want to in nature? I don't know...Dilemmas!

Anyway, I recommend the book and the movie, just know you might want to shut your eyes. Oh and I still do not find the attraction in Robert Pattinson. He looks like he is high as a kite and half asleep!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Movie Review: Annie Leibovitz


We watched the Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens documentary the other day. It showed the life of this famous photographer, some behind the scenes during her photoshoots, her history at Rolling Stone & Vanity Fair, and some of her personal life.

A few years ago, we saw the exhibit about her at the Legion of Honor museumI felt that this documentary brought the exhibit to life.

Annie grew up in CT and then moved to SF. She worked at Rolling Stone when it was just a tiny, little magazine. She shot THE famous shot of John Lennon & Yoko. Her work is everywhere.

This was an interesting film & I would recommend it!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!


Check out this promotion which I WON!!!

Be treated like Gap royalty with a chance to win 50% off all year long! (And by the way, that’s the Gap employee discount!) Go in-store now thru 4/30, find the Royal Treatment sign and scan the QR code to enter. Every day we’ll pick a winner at every store!

I was at the Gap yesterday & saw this code. I used my iPhone to scan the QR code & enter the sweepstakes. This AM, I had an email saying I was a winner!! I will receive a card that will entitle me to 50% off full-price Gap items and 10% off sale items FOR A YEAR. How cool!! 50% off jeans, here I come!!

So, get to the Gap. You might win!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday

It is so nice out today! It's in the 60's and sunny. Here's hoping that the pesky rain is behind us!

I went out for a run this AM. I love working out in the morning - its warm and there is no wind compared to the after work time slot. By the time I get home, it is so windy! Plus, it gets it out of the way so I don't have to worry about working out after work. This gives me more time to do whatever I want and spend time walking Evie.

This morning, the run was a pain. Two miles felt harder than those three in the rain. I was running for the first time in those new sneakers so I had to adjust them until they were just right.

Anyway....work is picking up & we are really busy. I am on a few different projects now and it feels good to be in the swing of things.

Tonight, I plan on walking Evie, having dinner & getting a manicure. I love living in the city because nail salons are open until like 8pm and hair salons are open on Sundays and evenings! Speaking of Evie, look who likes to hop in the tub after I shower and lick up the water - gross!

I hope to post some of Erik's pictures from Mexico for you soon plus, tell you about his new endeavor of planting a crop at the Hayes Valley Farm. More to come....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zippy 5K

As I mentioned the other day, I ran a 5K today. The race started at the Conservatory of Flowers, we ran around Stowe Lake, and finished at the Conservatory. The weather stunk! It was raining as I walked up to get my race bib. Thankfully, due to all of my walks with Evie, I know that the trees in Golden Gate Park make for a nice umbrella to stay dry before the run. During the run, the rain let up but it was misty the entire race.

Anyway, the race is called the Zippy 5K and apparently, you are supposed to chase 'Zippy' aka this Conehead guy.

There was no chasing anything for me. A 5K is a fast race. Most runners put the pedal to the metal and go. I don't put the gas pedal on until I see the finish line. haha. I am pretty proud of myself for running the entire race, not stopping to walk once. This is my first race in over a year so I was just happy to get out there & feel that race environment again. My goal is to work up to a 10K in June.

Here is a picture of the soggy finish line.


Yay! Finished in about 36 minutes!

Strange enough, we all received a bottle of olive oil at the end of the race. ha. I also got some water powder & a Larabar. I didn't sign up to get a t-shirt because I have so many of them & don't need anymore.

Next Race:

Mother's Day Marina Green 5K

Golf!

Yesterday, I did something very fun! I joined the EWGA at Santa Clara Golf for a round of 9 holes. A few years ago, I took golf lessons and was playing a lot. Over the years, I have still played now & then. I don't know any other women who golf so I always golf with Erik, and other guy friends. I think this is a high and a low for learning how to golf.

Back in January, I said I wanted to play more golf & tennis - two sports I really enjoy. I found the EWGA and thought it would be perfect--a chance to play regular golf with other women golfers! There are two groups in the club - one who plays 18 holes and another that sticks to 9 holes(The Niners). The women cross over into each group. This is perfect for me - I love playing 9 holes!

Yesterday, just four of us played Nine. It was so much fun! The women are all different ages and skill levels. It really is about fun, getting out there, and practicing. Everyone was very encouraging & not serious about hitting bad shots or losing a ball!

Since I haven't golfed in a year, I had some good drives, good shots, but also ended up in the sand once and overall played inconsistently! Oh well, I think hitting up the Range and playing with these ladies on a monthly basis will help.


(There were geese all over the course & there were baby geese!)
After we were done, we went back to the Clubhouse for a beer and I met more people in the group.

It was an awesome time!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Movie Review: Tangled


A few weeks ago, I watched Disney's Tangled and LOVED IT. I thought it was super cute and a good story. This is a more modernized Disney movie than Mermaid or Beauty & The Beast. It is more modern in the way that the characters are drawn, the script, & the way they talk. There is even a cute little drunk guy in the movie! hah



I really liked this movie & would buy it, just to have & watch whenever!

Ginger Honey Cashew Chicken

Some weeks, I really have no desire to cook. I don't care if we eat fish or chicken with a side of vegetables every night, or cereal, or order pizza. Then, some weeks, I find some good recipes and am inspired to try something new. This is one of those weeks & last night, I made another yummy recipe.

I got this recipe from Eat, Live, Run & it is delish. I would make this again but add in some different vegetables such as asparagus. I also don't think you need to fry the chicken. I would probably just bake it next time to make it a little more healthy. Anyway, here is the recipe!

Ginger Honey Cashew Chicken

serves 2-3

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1 T canola oil

2 tsp fresh minced ginger

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 T honey

2 green onions, chopped

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (just a sprinkle)

1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted cashews

Directions:

Lay the chicken breast strips in a pie pan or large plate. Sprinkle with cornstarch, salt and ginger. Toss so all the strips are coated well and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

While the chicken is in the fridge, whisk together the chicken broth, honey, green onions and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Drop the chicken in and cook for about eight minutes. When chicken is done, remove and place on a plate to keep warm.

Deglaze the pan with the sauce and whisk well to get up any little bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a couple minutes and then add the chicken, as well as the cashews, back to the pan. Cook for another five minutes so that the sauce can thicken and the chicken can warm back up if cool.

We had this over brown rice made on the stove with a chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor. We each had enough for leftovers for lunch today, too!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

More running...

As I start to get back in to the running game, some things come to mind. One is that I am really glad that I joined Team In Training a few years back and trained with coaches. I learned a lot and also have the experience of running increased mileage over months of time. I know what it takes, what it feels like, etc. I also learned a lot about nutrition, hydration, when to eat gu, when to drink Gatorade, etc.

I also realized, back then, that I have very tight hips & hamstrings. This causes me to be super stiff and achy after I run. So, after going through that while training, I get what it takes to be a runner. Running, to me, is half the battle. It really takes a holistic approach to be a runner - stretching, cross training, core/ab work, etc. Running the actual mileage is only a piece of the pie.

Also, I sort of wonder if 5K is the best race length for me. I am a believer in that the first mile is always the worst - no matter what! So with a 5K, you finally find your rhythm around 1.5 miles and then the race is over in 1.5 miles. I am really going to try to do a 10K in June. That is 6.2 miles and a little longer to find your pace, and adjust, and push yourself.

I think 5Ks are great for right now to get back into the swing of things, get used to doing all of this regularly, the feel of a race, etc. I really feel that being on a regular schedule, running races consistently, is a way to lifelong fitness. I remember seeing an 80 yr old on the courses when we ran back in CT. If you can find a groove & what works for you, you're on your way!

I just got new sneakers. Woohoo!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Running....

There is something that I like about doing things from different states that makes you feel like you are all together. For example, when I had my cross-country cookie swap in December. Everyone baked and shipped cookies to each other. Since we all can't be together in the same state, we had a swap anyway from thousands of miles away.

This time, Kimmy & I are running races together, from 3000 miles apart. We started last month where we each run and pick a race to run on the same day(or around the same time). Then, we run the race "together". It's fun because we both have the same goal - to complete the upcoming race.

I haven't really been doing so hot on the regular running thing. I have been going out a few times a week. I have my first 5K on Sunday - the Zippy 5K. I have not run a race in ages...the last one I can remember is a Turkey Trot in November 2009. And, I checked the 2010 results for this race and all of the women finished in like 25 min! What the heck! I am either going to run like crazy to keep up or just finish last. We'll see what happens!

Here's a picture of the last race we ran together in 2006 - The Boogie Woogie 5K!

Hahaha - here is a picture of Erik & I doing our first 5K ever. It was the Fairfield 5K in Fairfield, CT. My face is bright red AND I had gotten a spray tan the day before. haha

Here we are after I finished the Half back in 2008. Funny pics.

Anyway, here's to a successful race and that our "training together" works out well!

Baked Lemon Spaghetti

Last night, I made a yummy recipe - Baked Lemon Spaghetti.